Dear Tabor Village Families and Friends:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tabor Village will continue to communicate regularly with family members to provide the latest update on the prevention and control measures to contain COVID-19 and keep older adults and health care workers safe. That is our priority.
The outbreak at Valhaven has reminded us that we are not immune from the direct impact of the pandemic. Led by Kate Tate, Director, Care Services, Team Valhaven has coordinated a pandemic response directly with Fraser Health public health officials and backed up by the Tabor Village pandemic response team. The immediate response to the virus symptoms and the rapid implementation of COVID-19 infection control measures ensured the dangers of the virus were managed and ultimately helped save lives.
In total two residents and two staff members tested positive for the virus. The remainder of older adults and staff at Valhaven were proactively monitored and were tested for COVID-19 and the results came back negative with no additional cases. Families were notified and steps were taken to ensure the care they needed was provided. The residents’ health care team worked with families to make the best care decisions based on their condition.
We were saddened that the first resident to be diagnosed with the virus passed a week after testing positive. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and the health care workers who provided her loving care and ensured she received the most dignified end of life care. If there are no new cases, the outbreak is expected to be declared over by the end of May.
No Changes to Visitors Policy
As we go into Mother’s Day weekend, the restrictions for family visits will not change. The pressure has mounted with each passing day and week as family visits have been restricted to control the spread. We will be reaching out to staff members and family members as well as residents and tenants to canvass them on what ways we can ease families to reunite with their loved ones living at Tabor Village. This plan will ensure safety as the first priority. The new reality is that visitors will be screened for symptoms and asked to complete the self-assessment before visiting. Visitors will have to maintain a two-metre distance at all times. More details on how these visits will be managed will be introduced in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we will continue telephone, teleconference and closed window visits.
COVID-19 is particularly serious in vulnerable seniors and can lead to pneumonia, respiratory failure, and in some cases death. Those who live in long-term care (LTC) and assisted living (AL) homes or have other medical conditions are at highest risk of infection and severe illness. Tabor Village has undertaken extensive preparations to protect and care for older adults in LTC and AL. These measures include:
- Enhanced cleaning: We have increased cleaning frequency to high touch surfaces such as the hand rails, door knobs, tables and elevator buttons. This should reduce the risk of transmission of the virus from objects.
- Symptom Monitoring & Testing: To prevent transmission we need to identify who might be sick. This means carefully monitoring staff and older adults for symptoms and providing testing where appropriate.
- Isolation of Cases: To prevent the spread of COVID-19 we take all possible steps to keep older adults who have presumptive symptoms in their rooms while they are waiting for their results or until the symptoms have improved.
- Physical Distancing: During the pandemic we continue to reduce group and social activities to decrease the risk of transmission. This may mean that activities are put on hold where physical distancing cannot be safely maintained.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): For staff and the safety of older adults, staff will be using personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, goggles and gowns. Where possible older adults will wear PPE when receiving care to reduce the risk of spread.
- Limiting to work at one location: Staff are working at only one location. They are not moving between facilities.
- No Visitor Policy: No visitors are allowed at AL and LTC homes, with the only exception being one family member at a time during end-of-life.
Social isolation is a significant issue among the elderly and during the pandemic, and further stress results from the extraordinary measures in place for everyone's protection. Tabor Village is offering creative ways so families stay in touch with their loved ones while not compromising their safety, or the safety of other residents or staff. During the pandemic, the Tabor Village leadership team meets regularly to assess what is happening and what stage we are at, what measures need to be in place and which can be discontinued or replaced with something else. We will relax the measures as appropriate but we have to make sure we don't relax them to the point where transmission happens again. We understand the measures cause harm as well as benefit and do our best to minimize the impact on older adults.
Please contact the building where your loved one lives for more details on what you can do to reach your loved one. Please be patient if you have trouble getting through and know we will try to connect you as soon as possible.
Reach Out to Others for Help
No matter what your personal situation is, these are tough times and many people are deeply impacted by the pandemic. It is not ok to say everything is ok when it is not. If you need help please reach out to others to get support. We are here for each other - that is the Tabor way. Some family members have shared with me how they have reached out to others to support people impacted by the pandemic, whether it has been losing a job, losing income from devalued investments, being sick with the virus, or feeling the emotional impact of the stress caused by the dramatic changes in our lives. When we are all in this together we all become stronger together.
is the 75
anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) when we recognize the sacrifices that many of you or your family members endured during World War II. Today the seniors living at Tabor Village are considered the “greatest generation” who lived through the great depression, a World War and became the parents of the baby boomers. Today, the current generations in the workforce face their own significant challenge and as health care workers they have risen to the occasion.
Every day they protect the elderly living at Tabor Village by ensuring safety measures are followed that have become embedded into their daily routines. Both in the workplace and by staying home as much as possible and not expanding their social circle beyond their immediate family members living in their home. It is by remaining true to this commitment and following all of the safety procedures that will ensure we get through this crisis together, united and strong. We thank the entire Tabor Village community for being safe and thank you for being kind to each other.
Open Door Communication
Our goal throughout the pandemic is to ensure that communication channels remain open. You are encouraged to reach out to myself or your loved ones care team with any questions or support you need as you continue to ensure the safety and wellness of vulnerable residents and tenants and your beloved family members.
Most Importantly - Happy Mother’s Day!
This Sunday we give thanks to our wonderful moms. You have raised us, championed us, supported us, told us the truth when we needed to hear it and loved us tirelessly. We can’t be physically together this year but know that once this is all over, there will be hugs and lots of smiles. Happy Mother’s Day!