When the writ drops, the association wants to remind people that long-term care needs help.

Lindsay Armstrong | The Coast | July 16, 2021“As a province we need to think differently and completely reform the way we develop senior care,” said Michele Lowe of Nursing Homes of Nova Scotia. - SUBMITTED

When election signs hit Nova Scotian lawns, so will campaign signs from the Nursing Homes of Nova Scotia Association. The organization is calling for a ministerial portfolio of continuing care and highlighting “issues that have been facing long-term care for decades.” click to enlarge “As a province we need to think differently and completely reform the way we develop senior care,” said Michele Lowe of Nursing Homes of Nova Scotia.

Michele Lowe, executive director with the nonpartisan NHNSA, said in an interview the association planned its own election campaign in order to pressure political candidates from all parties to address the continuing care sector, which is “screaming for attention.” The hope is that the signs will encourage Nova Scotians to ask their representatives how they will support the sector, which has about 1,300 residents waiting for nursing home beds. “As a province we need to think differently and completely reform the way we develop senior care,” Lowe said in an interview Friday. “That’s why we’ve asked for a minister portfolio just for continuing care, we get lost in the structure with acute care.”

Following Saturday morning’s election call, Liberal leader Iain Rankin said he is not considering the addition of a separate portfolio for continuing care. “No, we’ve eclipsed a billion dollars in that area,” Rankin said in a scrum Saturday morning.

“We see it as a priority, we’ve made investments in home care, which has increased every year. We made historic investments in long term care… we’re going to continue to make those investments within the department of health and wellness.” Lowe said she’s hopeful that with the addition of a specific portfolio for continuing care, organizations like the NHNSA will have a better chance of being involved in nursing home infrastructure consultation. Lowe was pleased with Friday’s $905 million investment to add 64 new beds by 2027, but was surprised to hear it announced.

“We were thinking, Wait just a minute, we were not a part of that. How can you create a plan for long-term care when the very people who are a part of that plan have not been contributing?” she said. This is the second of two major long-term care infrastructure plans this year. In January, the province announced it would add 236 beds, which are expected to be ready sometime in 2024 or 2025. The NHNSA was not consulted in these plans either, Lowe said.

Lowe does not believe the province’s recent efforts go far enough or move quickly enough to give the sector the support it needs. “We want to be able to plan and position ourselves for the future, and we need to address the immediate needs of right now. With the 236 beds three or four years out, that’s not helping us or the waitlist right now,” she said. Lowe says the pandemic was an “ah ha” moment for many to realize how neglected the continuing care sector has been in Nova Scotia. Long-term care has been under the microscope following the high number of COVID-19 deaths occurring in provincial homes, particularly Northwood in Halifax where 53 people died. Repeated calls were made for public inquiry into the outbreak, but instead the province called for a review under the province’s Quality-improvement Information Protection Act which meant only recommendations were made public—permanently keeping findings from the investigation under wraps.

Read more at: https://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/nursing-homes-of-ns-is-launching-its-own-election-campaign/Content?oid=26799029


Read more at: https://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/nursing-homes-of-ns-is-launching-its-own-election-campaign/Content?oid=26799029

Susan Hayes, the chief executive officer at the Windsor Elms Village, is looking forward to seeing the results from an in-depth 18-month study on far-UVC light being conducted at the Falmouth-based long-term care facility.
Susan Hayes, the chief executive officer at the Windsor Elms Village, is looking forward to seeing the results from an in-depth 18-month study on far-UVC light being conducted at the Falmouth-based long-term care facility. – Contributed

Scientists want to know if far-UVC light cuts airborne transmission of influenza-like illnesses, respiratory infections and COVID-19 in long-term care

FALMOUTH, N.S. —  Two Nova Scotia nursing homes are about to take part in an 18-month study to help researchers determine if ultraviolet light reduces illness.

With Nova Scotia having the highest per capita population of seniors in the country, researchers say investing in solutions to help long-term care facilities is an important healthy aging strategy here and around the world.

“The pandemic has had a particular impact on older adults, especially those with underlying health conditions,” said lead researcher Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, with Nova Scotia Health’s division of geriatric medicine, in a press release.

“We want to see if far-UVC light can kill airborne viral transmissions, including the SARS CoV-2 virus, in long-term care facilities.”

Northwood’s Halifax campus and Windsor Elms Village in Falmouth are both taking part in the study. The researchers hope to determine if the rates of influenza-like illnesses and respiratory infections decrease due to the far-UVC light…continued

Dr. Lisa Barrett is an expert in infectious disease and human immunology. (CBC)

Study will have ‘huge implications’ beyond COVID-19, infectious disease expert says

Why do some long-term care residents who contract COVID-19 become seriously ill and die, while others show just mild symptoms, or none at all?

That’s a question one of Nova Scotia’s top infectious disease experts is looking to answer with a study that’s currently underway.

“We know very little about immune systems in older adults — not just in Canada, but in the world,” said Dr. Lisa Barrett, an infectious disease researcher and clinician at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

“They are a very under-studied population of people, and therefore this particular study allows us to really get in there and understand immune responses to a brand new pathogen, or virus, that these folks have never seen before.” … continued

Valentine days come and go but unshakable love endures | Pictou-County | Communities | The Chronicle Herald

 

Valentine days come and go but unshakable love endures

Joy and Junior MacLean have been married for more than 55 years.
Joy and Junior MacLean have been married for more than 55 years. They are pictured in this photo taken prior to COVID. – Contributed
By Kim Dickson

NEW GLASGOW – Joy and Junior MacLean are what Maritimers call the salt of the earth. This lovely, kind and unassuming couple raised their family of three sons and one daughter in Merigomish, along the Shore Road of Pictou County and their love is as evident now as it was on their wedding day almost 56 years ago. Junior has been a resident of Glen Haven Manor for the past five years and before the pandemic Joy was a daily visitor well known to staff for her gentle manner, friendly personality and warm smile.

Daily visits that were once a given, have since turned into regular weekly or bi-weekly ones, during the pandemic but the MacLeans’ love still burns bright and strong. Joy tells the story of last April when she and Junior were to have their 55th anniversary but couldn’t be together, how the leadership team and staff at Glen Haven went beyond the call of duty to make the day was a very special one. Because of the extraordinary milestone, an exception was allowed where Joy, accompanied by her sons Barry and Jeff, enjoyed a specially authorized window visit with Junior to mark the occasion. A window was decorated with hearts and congratulations by Glen Haven staff and Junior taken to that window with a great view to be able to see his wife and two sons as the three looked up at him from outside, brimming with excitement and affection. Joy says she felt just like that bride of five decades ago while they blew kisses and revelled in the moment just to be able to look into each other’s eyes. “I don’t know how I could ever repay them for turning the day into something so special,” she said with her voice quivering with emotion. Joy also mentions that their daughter Janice was unable to be there for the window visit but that they were also thinking of her and wishing she too was there to be part of a moment that will be long remembered. The first indoor visits of the pandemic and long-awaited hugs back in July also hold a special place in Joy’s heart as she and Junior welcomed that yet another historic day.

When asked about their wedding day, Joy recalls it was cold and windy just like the day of their 55th anniversary but also says that the weather did not deter them from it being a great celebration, full of fun. The wedding ceremony was held in the First Presbyterian Church in New Glasgow, the town where Joy grew up, and the reception for 50 guests took place in the church hall. In those days, she says this was considered quite a big reception

Joy and Junior are very proud of their children as well as the careers they chose with all four having done well in a variety of areas, from the lumber, manufacturing and wholesales industries to office administration.

She is quick to mention that their two grandsons and two granddaughters are a great source of pride and joy. Joy also beams when telling the family is very excited to mark the graduation of their oldest grandchild, Andrew, from veterinary school this spring.

Joy herself had a successful career as a bookkeeper, working for companies such as the Moore Brothers, the lobster factory in Lismore when it was owned by Nickerson’s and also for Senior Care.

Junior too had a career marked by success as production manager and running the press for The Evening News in New Glasgow for 28 years and for a few years after The News scaled back on local production, he worked with Sam’s Pizza in Trenton.

Joy and Junior have had much happiness and wonderful memories over the years and have relied on each other as they also endured immense grief with the loss of their oldest son, Steven, at the age of only 46, which Joy says was without a doubt the hardest time for their family.

Joy is now living in the north end of New Glasgow, back to her childhood roots, but says she always holds a special place in her heart for Merigomish where she and Junior spent the busy days with their sons and daughter and all that entails – early mornings in rinks for both hockey and ringette, at the ball field and of course swimming all summer long and making hay.

Junior also enjoyed the game of curling, so there were many outings connected with that for the two in between family outings and commitments, while Joy not only taught Sunday School and CGIT but also was very involved in the Merigomish community association.

The MacLeans were always at the heart of what was happening in their community and enjoyed every minute of those times.

Joy remarks on how quickly the years have flown by and said she remembers her mother saying the same thing.

Valentine’s days for the MacLeans were marked with the occasional special dinner out, a nice card here or there and in recent years the Sweetheart’s Dinner at Glen Haven.

More important to them was every ordinary day. When asked what makes for a long and happy marriage, Joy has the answer. “Appreciate the good times, have a good rapport with each other and don’t take each other for granted.”

It is clear Joy and Junior have long held a magic key to the triumph of an unshakable love.

 

TAGLINE: Kim Dickson is director of communications for Glen Haven Manor.

https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/news/local/most-long-term-care-homes-in-atlantic-canada-kept-covid-out-heres-what-worked-546701/

For Lisa Smith the pandemic started off with a round of bad news. By early March, it was clear that staff at Glen Haven Manor, a 202-bed long-term care facility in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, could not take vacations. The risk of bringing the COVID-19 virus into Glen Haven was simply too great. “To be honest, I think we cancelled 26 trips,” Smith, CEO of Glen Haven Manor, told SaltWire in an interview.

 

Lisa M. Smith, CEO of Glen Haven Manor, a long-term care facility in New Glasgow. The Manor was an early adopter of COVID-19 infection control practices, such as cohorting staff and limiting staff to working at only one long-term care facility. - Submitted
Lisa M. Smith, CEO of Glen Haven Manor, a long-term care facility in New Glasgow. The Manor was an early adopter of COVID-19 infection control practices, such as cohorting staff and limiting staff to working at only one long-term care facility. – Submitted

 

The home imposed staff restrictions by March 12, earlier than most. The cancellations were out of pure necessity. Smith needed all hands on deck and could not lose frontline workers to vacations let alone the self-isolation that would follow. “We did not have the staff to allow them to take an extra two weeks off because, as (with) all long-term care facilities, or most across this great nation, we have a staffing crisis,” Smith said. Glen Haven was an early adopter of many of the COVID-19 infection control practices. A COVID-19 pandemic plan was developed by March 1. By March 24, staff had set up a “Rona wing,” a separated isolation room in case residents tested positive for the virus. Staff were banned from working in other long-term care facilities and outside visits were curtailed two weeks before provincial measures restricted visits in long-term care homes. Administrators worked out a deal with local hotels to allow staff with family who had recently returned from travel abroad to self-isolate at a discount price. Local grocery stores established private shopping hours specifically for long-term care staff. By early April, staff and residents at Glen Haven were cohorted, with each resident care area set up with their own separate entrances and change areas.

 

Protecting the vulnerable

So far, COVID-19 has been kept out of Glen Haven Manor. Smith wants to keep it that way. “If you sit in a chair like this, you take it very serious.” She explains her job in simple terms: “To protect the elderly and the most vulnerable.” But she credited the dedication of Glen Haven staff. They got “a couple of days off” over the summer but Smith said that’s not the break they deserved in the height of the pandemic. “They are getting tired but they still come to work every day. They still have smiles on their faces,” she said.

The Glen Haven Manor was an early adopter of COVID-19 infection control practices, such as cohorting staff and limiting staff to working at only one long-term care facility. - Submitted
The Glen Haven Manor was an early adopter of COVID-19 infection control practices, such as cohorting staff and limiting staff to working at only one long-term care facility. – Submitted

Many of the preventative measures adopted at Glen Haven became standard at homes in Nova Scotia and other Atlantic Provinces. With the exception of the devastating outbreak at Northwood in Halifax, these efforts appear to have kept COVID-19 in long-term care in a region with a high population of seniors.

For a different outcome, look to central Canada. The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating in long-term care homes in Ontario, Quebec and elsewhere. The vast majority of COVID-19 deaths across Canada have occurred in long-term care.

In Atlantic Canada, only 26 of 766 long-term care facilities have had people test positive for the virus as of late January and only 64 have died. Fifty-three were at Northwood. Nova Scotia has had 57 deaths due to the virus in long-term care while New Brunswick, as of the last week in January had seven. The mid-January outbreak at the Shannex Parkland seniors complex in Saint John, New Brunswick claimed four lives. An additional two who tested positive for COVID-19 also died in late January.

But most long-term care facilities in the region, including all in Newfoundland and Labrador and P.E.I., have avoided outbreaks.

continued

 

Michele Lowe, managing director of the Nursing Homes of Nova Scotia Association, said current staffing models don't support the increasingly frail residents of long-term care.

Michele Lowe, managing director of the Nursing Homes of Nova Scotia Association, said new funding has allowed some nursing homes to hire RNs or LPNs focused on infection control. – Eric Wynne Dedicated infection control specialists needed in Nova Scotia long-term care facilities | Local | News | The Chronicle Herald

Care staff  look on as supporters banged pots and pans as 2 dozen muscle cars, blared music revved engines in support for caregivers and residents at the Northwood long-term care facility during the Noise for Northwood event in Halifax Sunday May 31, 2020.

Care staff look on as supporters banged pots and pans as 2 dozen muscle cars, blared music revved engines in support for caregivers and residents at the Northwood long-term care facility during the Noise for Northwood event in Halifax Sunday May 31, 2020. – Tim Krochak CODE COVID: What the pandemic has taught us about long-term care | Provincial | News | The Chronicle Herald

Long-term care is under the microscope and in the spotlight — exactly where those of us in the sector want it and need it to be. For many years, nursing homes, unions and our provincial association have been speaking with one voice, pleading for more investment and changes. Yet we were unheard.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a “great reveal” for Canada — indeed, for many countries — and there is agreement among all stakeholders that we must do and invest more. Yet report after report has yielded the same information. We must move forward from recommendations to immediate action.

At Glen Haven Manor, we consistently make the point to all who will listen that our residents — and all those in long-term care across this great country — deserve solutions right now. Not next week or next year — but today.  continued

Chronicle Herald · December 3, 2020

Glen Haven residents, clockwise, Linda Mayo, Mary Coady and Rhoda MacKenzie are shown enjoying making Christmas crafts with Recreation Programmer Nicole Blackwood.

GLEN HAVEN MANOR, NS

The onset of the second wave of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia isn’t what anyone would have hoped for, but it’s a harsh reality that long-term care facilities like Glen Haven Manor must deal with.

Glen Haven Manor CEO Lisa M. Smith said they will aim to do it with an unwavering commitment to look out for each other.

“We owe it to our elders and the most vulnerable to do everything in our power to protect them, to keep them safe through the Public Health measures and directives from the province and to establish every protocol we can to help keep COVID from entering our doors,” she said.

Smith said they’ve been working hard to adapt their pandemic preparedness plan as needed.

“We must be proactive and ahead of the curve but also be prepared to change on any given day,” she said. “I am grateful for the quality care and compassion our staff provide residents in concert with their incredible work ethic and skill. These are uncharted waters and unprecedented times that we will look back at as a point in history, where our strength, moral courage and fortitude were put to a test.”

continued