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News and Updates:
During these extraordinary times, we need extraordinary people like you. No experience is required, just a desire to help others!
The COVID-19 pandemic has been the challenge of our lifetimes. The circumstances have been unprecedented – and constantly changing: first the focus was on travel; then businesses and schools were closed; there were massive lay-offs, with many others working from home; and then the focus moved to concerns about hospital resources and capacity. When the expected rush on hospitals mostly did not occur, the focus appropriately turned to seniors’ residences. Starting in March of 2020, new provincial directives were issued almost daily, it seemed, as we fought this virus that represents such risk to our seniors and loved ones.
When summer arrived infection rates began to decline, so attention turned to reopening the province. Then came the fall and early winter of 2020, with the inevitable and foreseeable “second wave”, as COVID infections spiked to new highs. As the calendar turned to 2021, concerning and highly transmittable “variants” emerged as a new threat. The spring of 2021 brings with it new optimism in the form of vaccinations. Residents and staff members of long-term care and retirement homes were rightly prioritized in this ongoing battle with COVID-19.
Our top priority, as always, is the health and safety of our residents and staff. All AON Homes follow the directives of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer, the Ministry of Health, and Public Health authorities. We also access industry resources such as the OLTCA, the RHRA, and ORCA. As directives are given or updated, we follow them. In addition, AON Homes have been ahead of the curve in many of the responses to COVID-19, right from the start.
We congratulate and celebrate our staff. With few exceptions our courageous staff continued to come to work to provide care and services to the residents we serve. We can’t say enough about their commitment and work ethic. We are so proud of our team and how they have pulled together, working tirelessly during challenging times.
We thank our residents and their loved ones for the trust they placed in us. We appreciate your patience and support, and your frequent kind words. Your ongoing support has meant the world to our dedicated and hardworking teams. We understand this has been a stressful time. The inability, for long periods of time, to visit loved ones has been a heart-wrenching measure. As an alternate many chose to stay in touch with their loved ones via the Home’s FaceBook page, or they arranged “virtual visits” via FaceTime or Skype.
We do our best to communicate with families and loved ones, with updates in each Home at least weekly initially, and then more periodically as the situation stabilized and the pace of provincial directives slowed. Any news or important information to be shared more broadly, has been, and will continue to be, communicated through “@AON_responds” on Twitter, or through this page.
The following list is not exhaustive, but it summarizes some of the measures we have taken to keep residents safe and to always be prepared for active cases of COVID-19:
There are numerous, more detailed steps we have taken, but the list above addresses the key themes. We are pleased with our level of preparedness and we continue to and adjust our plans based on new information or circumstances.
If a Home experiences a case of COVID-19, special “outbreak” protocols will immediately go into effect, including isolation, deployment of “protective personal equipment” (PPE), staff cohorting, and many restrictive practices intended to limit the spread of the infection and keep all residents and staff members safe. All of this would be under the supervision of Public Health authorities. Should such an event occur, there would be special communication to the residents and families of the affected Home. We will also use the Twitter account “@AON_responds” to share news or important information, or visit this page.
Please note that if a resident is ill, our standard protocol is to contact the resident’s designated loved one to make sure they are informed. This applies to ANY illness or unusual situation, including COVID-19. So please do not worry, we will keep you informed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged how we all work and live, forcing separation, keeping loved ones apart for extended periods, and preventing us from doing many of the things we love to do. Every one of us has to think hard about the choices we make, being sure to make decisions that limit the potential spread of the virus and protect the ones we love.
We thank our staff for their courage, dedication, and their hard work. We thank our residents and their families and friends for their patience, their understanding, and their trust. These have been unprecedented times, but we will continue to work through them, together.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Executive Director or Administrator of your Home. The contact information is available on their individual web-pages. Or feel free to send an email here