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On April 29, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) released new orders for continuing care that provided guidance on ‘Outdoor Access’ for residents and ‘Outdoor Visits’ with residents and families.
This new guidance recognizes that it is important for mental health to spend time outdoors. It encourages that residents be given an opportunity to spend time outdoors, where feasible and appropriate, and have the opportunity for safe outdoor visits.
The Brenda Strafford Foundation welcomes this new guidance from Alberta Heath. We have advocated for and strongly encouraged these important measures to support enhanced quality of life, balanced with the necessary restrictions that are in place for increased safety and protection of our residents.
Outdoor visits will be starting as early as next week. The Ministry of Health has acknowledged the complexity of the order and advised operators to take the necessary time to review, interpret and make plans for implementation. The Brenda Strafford Foundation is working hard to quickly – but also safely – finalize the plans and set-up the outdoor spaces for each site to be able to implement outdoor visits in accordance with the guidelines from the CMOH order, while keeping the protection of residents, families and staff at the forefront.
More information will be provided early next week to advise the specific instructions and scheduling information for outdoor visits. Each Manor will be communicating their site-specific instructions and scheduling arrangements to residents and families early next week. Thank you for your continued patience as we implement this welcome and highly anticipated new initiative.
In the meantime, here is an overview of some key information we can share at this time:
A checklist for key safety considerations includes:
Staff will help to monitor these interactions and those that do not comply will be asked to leave.
The Brenda Strafford Foundation will continue to facilitate ‘Virtual Visits’ and ‘Window Visits,’ as often as it is feasible to do so, in addition to commencing offering ‘Outdoor Visits.’
As you know, previously, the direction from provincial authorities restricted all residents from going outdoors when a facility was in any level of outbreak.
Now, we are pleased to report that the new order from the CMOH permits that residents who are not required to isolate may spend time outdoors while observing physical/social distancing requirements.
With the warmer weather upon us, effective immediately, residents will once again now be encouraged to spend time outdoors to enjoy the benefits of fresh air and sunshine. Staff will help to facilitate residents spending time outdoors, in cases where residents may be unable to do so independently and require assistance.
Some guidelines for spending time outdoors includes:
We know these are important developments for our residents and families. We are pleased to be able to further support our mission to optimize well-being and enrich lives within the unusual challenges we all face at this time. Thank you for your patience as we ensure these developments are implemented in a timely but safe way that continues to minimize the risk and prevents the potential occurrence of COVID-19 within our Manors.
As always, we appreciate your continued understanding and support during these difficult times. Together, we will remain BSF Strong!