Unique setup is helping Village Green residents safely visit their loved ones in the garden

Ruth (pictured at right), a Village Green resident, has a safe visit with her daughter Evelyn in the Greater Napanee long-term care home’s garden.

Village Green residents and their loved ones have recently been enjoying safe outdoor visits in the Greater Napanee long-term care home’s garden.

Fortunately, the garden is set up in such a way to make these visits easy during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, says Village Green life enrichment co-ordinator Ulana Orrick.

The garden is enclosed by a chain-link fence, with the home’s parking lot adjacent. While being supervised by staff members, residents have been able to come outside into the garden to meet their loved ones – who are waiting for them on the other side of the fence – for scheduled visits.

Staff members have marked spots with blue paint two metres back from the fence, and this is where residents sit. The posts that separate panels on the chain-link fence are exactly two metres apart, and chairs are set up on the other side of the fence for family members.

The visiting area in the garden has three segments, labelled stations A, B and C. When family members schedule visits with their loved ones at Village Green they are assigned a station to meet them.

Family members wear masks and are screened by staff members before their visit starts.

The Ontario government has allowed these types of family visits at long-term care homes since June 18.

The garden-visit setup, Ulana says, is a step up from the prior visitation method, which had residents speaking on a phone to their loved ones through a window. This could be challenging for some residents, Ulana says.

With the arrival of summer, residents and families are enjoying their outdoor visits, she adds.

“It has been really nice; we have the sunshades up and families are able to see their loved one and it encourages that time outside.”

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