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Peace Villa staff making sure residents and families stay connected…

FORT ST. JOHN, BC: Protecting staff, patients, and long-term care residents is always important to Northern Health. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented additional challenges to this, which is why part of our response has involved changing visiting rules to ensure we’re keeping people safe.

(Thank you to staff at Peace Villa who are working hard to help keep residents, families and staff safe.)

Staff at Peace Villa in Fort St. John have been working hard to make sure residents are not only safe and healthy, but happy and well connected to families who aren’t able to visit any longer at this time.

Over the past weekend, three members of the administration staff at Peace Villa in Fort St. John, who felt it was very important to ensure resident families are informed about the changes as they were happening, went above and beyond. Pat (Peace Villa manager), Janet (admin clerk), and Florence (LPN supervisor) spent a number of hours calling all 124 residents’ designated family contact to personally connect with them, and make sure they were aware of the essential visitors policy, as well as documenting how often and by what means (i.e., phone, text, or virtual) they would like to keep in touch with their family member living in Peace Villa in the future.

“This tremendous effort is a great example of how our staff care for residents and their families,” says Angela De Smit, Chief Operating Officer for the Northeast, “by ensuring families are contacted and connected with their loved ones, and to understand how they want to do this moving forward.”

Peace Villa is also implementing a daily schedule of FaceTime or Zoom calls to family members next week. The Recreation staff will schedule the call, and help the resident place the call, offering support or privacy if preferred, and they are working towards having each of the residents being able to have two calls with family each week.

Staff have also been helping residents stay connected to their friends in different areas of Peace Villa.

Several weeks ago, a number of Fort St. John Hospital inpatients waiting for long-term care beds were able to be transferred to Peace Villa. Three of the patients who had become friends were unfortunately separated and admitted into different lanes due to the location of the empty beds and considerations of individual care needs.

One of the patients regularly asked about his friend and a staff member recognized the importance of keeping these friends connected after their recent move and the benefits to their well-being. She considered ways to make this happen and after getting consent from each of the individuals, she made a video of each of the friends with a message to their friends, and then shared the final video with each of the individuals.

Pat Evans, Peace Villa Manager, says, “Each person was thrilled to receive a message from their friend!”

Thank you, Peace Villa staff, for your dedication!

To protect those most vulnerable, long-term care homes have restricted visitors to essential visits only. Essential visits include visits for compassionate care (e.g. end of life), and visits considered as paramount to the resident’s well-being, providing medically necessary care. We understand that this is a difficult time for family members and residents. Learn more about what Northern Health is doing during the COVID-19 situation, visit northernhealth.ca.

Written and released by Northern Health.

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