May 11 Update from our Chief Operating Officer: Phased Approach to Reopening Dining Rooms

In an abundance of caution, regardless of outbreak status, all residents have been isolating in their suites.  This, along with our other heightened precautionary protocols, has kept COVID-19 out of 90% of our residences.  However, we appreciate the strain this has placed on our residents and we know many people are anxious for us to ‘get back to normal’.

Therefore, starting May 18th we will begin a cautious, phased approach to re-opening our dining rooms to allow people an opportunity to socialize safely.  This is for all Seasons homes not in outbreak status.

In Phase One, we will serve one daily meal in the dining rooms (lunch in Alberta and dinner in Ontario). As we begin our return to operations as usual, the decision was made to offer the ‘big meal’ of the day in our dining rooms.  In Ontario the bigger meal is dinner; in Alberta, we operate in mainly rural farming communities where the big meal of the day is traditionally lunch. The other meals and snacks will continue to be served to our residents’ suites.

In order for this to be successful, strict protocols must be followed:

  • Social distancing is critical: tables will be spaced apart with a maximum of two people per table
  • Hand hygiene must be practiced prior to entering and exiting one’s suite, and prior to entering and exiting the dining room
  • Residents are asked not to come to the dining room early; please leave your suite no more than 5 minutes before mealtime
  • We will be limiting the number of residents in the elevators at one time
  • Medications will be provided in the dining room to eliminate the need to go to the Wellness Centre or find a nurse
  • No shared condiments, salt and pepper, etc. will be on the tables
  • No buffet services; all meals will be served by our dining staff
  • Residents are asked to return to their suites immediately following the meal
  • Increased disinfecting of the dining room will take place in between meals

We will provide dining service by floor cohorts to limit possible transmission within our homes, which means a new seating arrangement and different dining times.  We are hopeful that as residents re-familiarize themselves with social distancing practices, we can successfully move on to Phase Two on or around June 1.  We are providing residents with a helpful Q&A document that further answers the questions we anticipate people might have.

We are continuing to find fun, creative ways to keep our residents safely connected and engaged.  From hall or doorway activities, to conference call fitness classes or trivia, to contests and independent craft projects and personal visits, we care deeply about our residents’ emotional and mental well-being.  You can see examples of these activities, as well as the ‘Extra Love’ we are receiving, on the Seasons Facebook page and other social media channels.

We appreciate the trust you have placed in Seasons Retirement Communities.  Thank you all for your cooperation and please continue to stay vigilant.  We will get through this together.

Sincerely,

LeighAnne Voll,
Chief Operating Officer

For additional online resources for COVID-19 you can visit the following sites:

Canada Health
Alberta Health
Alberta Health Services
Public Health Ontario
Retirement Home Regulatory Authority