Covid-19 Update for December 15, 2020

Letter sent to Family on December 15, 2020

Hello to all Families,

We share the sad news that a resident has passed away after contracting the virus.  Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are extended to the family as they grieve the loss of their loved one.

Below are Salem Home’s statistics related to COVID-19 as of December 14, 2020.  Again, to ensure you are not inundated with emails/letters, we will let families know of a positive case only when contact tracing is required.

Bed Numbers Resident Positive Cases Residents Recovered Deceased
145 3 0 1


Staff Positive Cases Staff Recovered
04 04

The Level Red is extended by the province until January.  For Salem Home, residents, Designated Caregivers and staff, nothing really changes.  All Infection Control and screening protocols outlined in the November 25, 2020 Update remain in effect.

Life at Salem Home around Christmas is usually busy with concerts, visitors, and Christmas activities.  This year looks a bit different, however, the community has provided amazing support of the residents and staff these past few months.  Residents have been receiving cards, cookies in packaging, and wrapped gifts which will be a surprise. Some school children worked for three months to create homemade gifts for each resident.  These gift bags will be placed in each resident’s room on Christmas Eve so a gift is waiting for them on Christmas morning.

Resident Care staff are busy providing care to the residents and especially residents in the Red Zone. To ensure residents days are filled with activities and visits, the Therapeutic Recreation hours have been increased until such a time as we have navigated our way through the outbreak.  We know it is not the same as having lots of visitors, but we also want residents to find meaning and purpose in their day however they can.

The Elf continues to get into trouble to the residents’ delight. The other day one was zip-lining across the Cottonwood nursing station.  We now have three more cats in the building – one was a donation from a follower of Salem’s Instagram.  Thank you so much for the donation.  These cats are bringing much enjoyment to the residents as they interact with the cat.  It is also something tactile for residents to experience which is so important.

We are being blessed with items on the Wish List.  You will find the list on the Instagram account.  Each gift is something that will enhance the residents’ lives now and into the future as we continue to develop the DementiAbility program.  Thank you so very much for your amazing generosity.

Designated Family Caregivers continue to be welcomed into the Home – one Designated Family Caregiver per 24 hour period.  The hours of visitation are expanded from 7:30 AM – 8:00 PM, every day of the week, until further notice.  In expanding the hours, it allows for Caregivers to assist your loved one during mealtimes, spend time visiting or assisting in whatever way you can, especially on Maple.  If your loved one living in other areas of the building require assistance with their meals, someone will contact you. You are part of the Care Team and we thank you for your commitment to your loved one’s well-being.  For those caregivers who have not received the PPE educational sessions, please contact Julie Ruban-MacDonald to let her know.  More sessions will be arranged in the future.

Families bringing in or dropping off gifts, please ensure your gift can fit into the UV-c Disinfecting Chamber (32”wide by 17” high).  This will clean the gift before it goes to your resident.  Anything you bring in before or after screening hours are over (including food), just leave in the drop off bin.  Please do not ring the doorbell as staff will be busy providing care and leaving the care area usually means removing all PPE including gowns etc., which takes time.  The bin will be checked periodically.

If you are wanting to say thank you to staff, we ask that chocolates, etc. be individually wrapped.  Or if you choose, you may donate a dollar amount which will be used to provide treats for the staff as a thank you on your behalf.

There are not many ways to write thank you to you as families for your support. Messages of encouragement and words of appreciation go a long way to make tired, anxious staff continue to do their very best in keeping your loved one safe.  We have planned and planned for an event like this, but until we all go through it, it is not the same.

As we close this update, we ask you to keep the residents and staff in your thoughts and prayers.  Staff are beginning to get very tired as all other staff pick up tasks from other areas in the building.  This gives Maple staff more time to provide care. On days where staff work short because another staff is isolating or no one else is available, if the phone is not answered quickly, it may be that they are caring for your spouse, mother or father.  Please be patient as there are not always people available for phone calls.  Staff are doing the best they can, and their primary concern is providing physical and emotional care to the residents.

Again, thank you for your kindness, patience, and understanding as we strive to keep the residents and each other safe. Remember to wash your hands, wear a mask responsibly and sanitize after you need to touch it.  And stay home, especially if you are not feeling well.

Christmas Blessings,


Sherry Janzen                                                              Karin Oliveira

Chief Executive Officer                                               Director of Resident Care Services

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