May 22, 2020
We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Nova Scotia, following recommendations from our Chief Medical Officer and Health Canada. We appreciate your willingness to uphold safe practices to limit the effects of COVID-19 on hospice patients, visitors, and staff. Our visitor guidelines at Hospice Halifax have changed:
TWO VISITORS per patient are permitted at Hospice Halifax. The visitors are from the patient’s “essential visitor list” and will remain the same during the patient’s stay at Hospice. If one of the visitors is no longer able to visit regularly, please let the care team know.
Please stay in the patient room while visiting, leaving the room only if exiting the building or if requested by a member of the clinical care team.
Visitors are encouraged to ring the call bell for assistance instead of seeking out staff in the nursing station or hallway.
Hospice Halifax will work with patients and families to make every effort to enable other ways for people to communicate with patients, such as virtual or telephone options. We would like to remind hospice visitors of the following:
Practice social distancing both inside and outside of the hospice building: this means keeping 2 meters (6 feet) of distance between each other. Practice caution when shopping for groceries or picking up medications (ideally, have someone else in your household complete these tasks if you are one of the identified visitors to hospice). Only go out for essential items when absolutely necessary. Practice routine hand hygiene and cough etiquette both inside and outside the hospice.
April 8th, 2020
We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Nova Scotia, following recommendations from our Chief Medical Officer and Health Canada. We appreciate your willingness to uphold safe practices to limit the effects of COVID-19 on hospice patients, visitors, and staff.
Our visitor guidelines at Hospice Halifax have changed
Only ONE visitor per patient is permitted at Hospice Halifax. The visitor is one person from the patient’s “essential visitor list” and will remain the same during the patient’s stay at Hospice. If this visitor is no longer able to visit regularly, please let the care team know.
• In the patient’s last days to hours, our care team will discuss with you if a second identified person can be also present and stay in the patient room. Note: this would allow the same 2 people – in total – in the room. Please stay in the patient room while visiting, leaving the room only if exiting the building or if requested by a member of the clinical care team.
• Visitors are encouraged to ring the call bell for assistance instead of seeking out staff in the nursing station or hallway.
• Hospice Halifax will work with patients and families to make every effort to enable other ways for people to communicate with patients, such as virtual or telephone options.
We would like to remind hospice visitors of the following:
Practice social distancing both inside and outside of the hospice building: this means keeping 2 meters (6 feet) of distance between each other. Avoid gathering with people outside of hospice who do not already belong to your household. Practice caution when shopping for groceries or picking up medications (ideally, have someone else in your household complete these tasks if you are the identified visitor to hospice). Only go out for essential items when absolutely necessary. Practice routine hand hygiene and cough etiquette both inside and outside of hospice.
Following these precautions, in addition to those communicated by Health Canada, will help us limit the effects of COVID-19 on hospice patients, visitors, and staff. We want to continue to allow visitors for patients living at Hospice Halifax and appreciate your cooperation.
April 2, 2020
Dear Hospice Halifax Community,
It has been an unprecedented and challenging few weeks for us here at Hospice Halifax, as well as the larger community. We have been busy implementing and adapting to best practices around flattening the curve of COVID-19. We have not had the opportunity to address our community during this time, so we would like to update you on changes and challenges we have faced at Hospice Halifax.
Hospice Halifax is still open, and we continue to deliver on our mission of providing the best end of life care possible to our patients and families. Due to COVID-19 and in heeding the advice of the Federal and Provincial Government, we have made some significant changes to our staffing, volunteer engagement, house procedures, and programming. In an effort to maintain a connection with you – our community – we will be launching a Community Check-In series on our social media. Please see below for further details.
Inside the hospice, we have reduced the number of people coming and going in several key ways:
- We have moved to ‘essential staff’ only inside the hospice, which includes our clinical team (doctors, nurses, care team assistants, housekeeping, and kitchen staff). All other personnel are either working from home, or have been temporarily laid off. These decisions were not made lightly, and we plan to re-hire these personnel once we emerge from our current circumstances.
- We have temporarily paused all volunteer services to support social distancing.
- Our Saturday bereavement group is paused until further notice. Bereavement group members are welcome to contact Linden Hardie, our Social Work Coordinator (902-446-0929) if they would like to receive weekly/bi-weekly phone-call check-ins from a bereavement group facilitator
- Individual bereavement counselling is on hold until further notice. If you are already on our wait list, you will be contacted when we resume services. For further information or to be added to our wait list, please contact Linden Hardie.
- During this time, patients and families at Hospice still have access to bereavement supports during their stay.
- All deliveries are limited to the vestibule area, and packages undergo sanitation prior to entering the building.
- Based on expert recommendations, we have reduced visitors to one person per day (24 hours), per patient. As a compassionate organization, this was a hard decision to make,, as we understand the need for family and support at end-of-life, but this is a compromise we must make under these circumstances.
Fundraising efforts have been impacted in the following ways:
- In an effort to try and maintain a form of support, we are in the process of developing an online version of The Compassionate Closet. Stay tuned for more information in the coming week for its launch and how you can shop with us in this new way! .. We have decided to not accept donations at this time, but we know spring cleaning isn’t put on hold. If you are able to hang on to your awesome pieces, we will be needing your continued support when we open our doors again.
- All our events have been cancelled, including several that had not yet been announced. One of our signature events, the Hike for Hospice, will still move forward in the future, but we are giving much consideration to going ‘virtual’ with this program. Stay tuned for further updates.
- Hospice Halifax is still accepting monetary donations, which are very much appreciated. We understand that our economy has been significantly impacted, and that many Nova Scotians are facing unemployment and financial uncertainty. We empathize with our community and therefore will be reducing our ‘asks’ on our social media platforms. We still need to fundraise from the community in order to meet our fiscal obligations and we know our community will support us when possible. We appreciate all you have done, and do for Hospice Halifax.
Supporting Our Community:
- Moving forward, we want to make sure that we are connecting with you, our Hospice Halifax community,in ways that help keep us connected and mindful of all the wonderful work we’ve been able to achieve together. This is why we are sending this update email. We don’t plan on inundating your inbox, but may send another update if things change drastically. You can keep up-to-date with Hospice Halifax by visiting our website, www.hospicehalifax.ca
- We are launching our ‘Community Check In’ series next week on our Facebook and Instagram platforms, @HospiceHalifax. Our ‘Community Check Ins’ will include a Facebook Live and an Instagram Live broadcast from a staff or volunteer who will touch base with you all, and lead us in a mindfulness moment. These will be a 10 to 15-minute broadcast and offer a chance to reflect, engage in self-compassion, and connect with our team. We hope this will provide some routine and comfort during these uncertain times. We will be on Facebook on Tuesdays at 1:00 PM and Instagram on Fridays at 1:00 PM.
Thank you for being part of this amazing community!
If you have any further questions that have not been addressed, please contact Chrissy Merrigan at email@example.com.
Take care you of yourselves and your loved ones, stay informed and stay compassionate,
Hospice Halifax <3
March 19, 2020
As you may be aware, the Nova Scotia Health Authority has now implemented a no-visitor policy for all hospitals with some exceptions. A ONE person visitor/support person is allowed for patients at the end-of-life.
In keeping with provincial efforts to minimize spread of the disease, Hospice Halifax will also further limit visitors to the hospice. Going forward, ONE identified visitor will be permitted to visit for each patient per day. The visitor will go directly to the patient room and stay in the patient room at all times when visiting. When not in the room, they will exit the Hospice. They may re-enter if they’ve gone for a walk, or taken a break outside/ or in their car. A loved one may stay at the hospice overnight to remain with their loved one
There will be someone at the reception to screen each visitor for COVID-19 each time they enter the building using the screening questionnaire. Thank you for respecting this request to keep everyone healthy.
ALL common areas, including the tea room, and Great Room Kitchen will remain closed for personal food /beverage preparation. The lower level kitchen is restricted to food service staff and essential support staff/volunteers ONLY. A sign will be posted outside the kitchen as a reminder.
We appreciate your continued support and will continue to keep you updated of any further changes.
March 16, 2020
Dear friends of Hospice Halifax,
With presumptive cases of COVID-19 now in Nova Scotia, it is our duty to be diligent on a number of matters to limit the risk to Halifax Hospice patients, staff, family members, volunteers and others. We ask you to please note and adhere to the following changes, effective immediately:
- The number of visitors is restricted to two people at one time, and only two visitors daily. Different visitors may visit on different days. Approved visitors are being identified by patients and their families and in discussion with Hospice staff, and a list of those approved visitors will be kept at reception.
- Drop-in visitation without prior approval is not permitted. Hospice Halifax reception will be managing this process.
- Anyone entering Hospice Halifax must stop at the reception desk and be screened for entry.
- If your name is on the approved visitor list, you will still need to answer a few screening questions.
- If you are wondering if you are on the visitor list, please call ahead to 902-446-0929 to confirm before visiting.
- Approved visitors to Hospice Halifax must stay in the patient room at all times when visiting. When not in the room, we must kindly request you leave the Hospice.
- All other common areas, including the Tearoom and Great Room kitchen will be closed to visitors and will only be used to support Hospice operations. This includes using the Great Room for family meals.
- If you have travelled internationally in the past 14-days or if you are symptomatic of any illness, you are asked to refrain from visiting Hospice Halifax.
We understand that these restrictions may be difficult particularly because we are delivering palliative care and time can be precious. At Hospice Halifax, we are committed to providing the best end of life possible for individuals and their families – and in times like these, the safety of everyone in our community is of utmost importance.
We appreciate your continued support and will continue to keep you updated of any further changes.