Grove introduces new visiting policy

ARNPRIOR – The Grove Nursing Home residents and their loved ones now have more ways they can connect in person safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In accordance with the Ministry of Long-Term Care’s updated COVID-19 guidance, the Grove has further eased visitor restrictions allowing each resident to have up to two designated caregivers visit in the home, and residents can now leave the home for short stay absences.

“Our team is excited to safely ease our temporary visitor restrictions for residents and their family members as we know how difficult it’s been for everyone during the pandemic,” Arnprior Regional Health (ARH) director of care, Grove Nursing Home Judith Gilchrist said. “As we slowly and cautiously increase visiting access for family members, our priority continues to be the safety of our residents and staff.”

The newly introduced designated caregiver visits are for any person whom the resident (or substitute decision-maker) identifies as their family caregiver – these visits are not scheduled or restricted by length of time or frequency. The designated caregivers must adhere to safety precautions, including:

  • Attest to a negative COVID-19 test within the previous two weeks
  • Pass active screening and have temperature taken before entering the home
  • Must always wear a medical procedure mask during visits
  • Can only visit family member (not other residents)
  • Can have physical contact with loved one, but must maintain two metres distance from all other residents and staff

“The Grove team has done a tremendous job staying vigilant during the pandemic to successfully keep the virus out of the home, while doing what is possible to keep residents connected to their loved ones during the various phases of lockdown and the reopening,” vice president, Patient and Resident Services, chief nursing executive Susan Leach said.

The second new visiting option is short stay absences, which allows a resident to visit at a family member’s home or go out for a scenic drive. For these outings, the following safety precautions must be followed:

  • Family member(s) must attest to a negative COVID-19 test within the previous two weeks
  • Residents are required to wear a medical procedure mask at all times
  • Residents are not to go to public places i.e. restaurants, stores
  • Masks must be worn by all members in the car (while travelling with the resident)
  • Physical distancing must be maintained, and family members are strongly encouraged to wear a mask during the visit
  • It is strongly recommended that visits are kept to a small number of people
  • Upon returning to the Grove, the resident will go through screening and have their temperature taken

Through the recreation team, the Grove continues to facilitate scheduled outdoor visits and indoor.