Family visits, outdoor time have been key to keeping residents’ spirits high at Kentwood Park

Kentwood Park

‘We want every single resident to be happy’

Given the restrictions in place in the long-term care sector since the global COVID-19 pandemic began in March, homes have concentrated on finding ways to keep residents’ spirits high while maintaining important safety protocols.

At Kentwood Park in Picton, there has been an effort to focus on one-to-one programming, supervised outdoor time and, most recently, outdoor family visits, says life enrichment aide Brandy Courtney.

“We are spending a lot of time outside, if it’s not too hot, and we’re doing a lot of one-on-one programming,” she tells The OMNIway.

Outdoor visits began in June at Kentwood Park when the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced that Ontario long-term care homes could have supervised outdoor visits for residents and their family members, provided safety protocols were met.

Since some residents do not have family members who can visit them, the Kentwood Park life enrichment team is focusing on one-to-one activities the residents enjoy as well as taking requests for new activities to try out.

“We want every single resident to be happy,” Brandy says.

Some residents who have cognitive impairment do not understand the situation, so staff members will sit down with them and explain why their loved ones have not been coming into the home and why it’s important to maintain protocols, such as social distancing.

Kentwood Park team members have also been accompanying residents on visits to the home’s garden so they can have some sun and fresh air.

“That has been helping residents a lot; just getting out in the sun and getting that vitamin D,” Brandy says.

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