Grande Spirit Foundation surveying seniors on visitation wants, concerns

Grande Spirit Foundation sign (mygrandeprairienow.com AbbyZieverink staff)
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Seniors living at all Grande Spirit Foundation residences will have a say in just how quickly restrictions are loosened as early as next week.

General Manager Steve Madden says a survey will be filled out by residents in each home which will help gauge their comfort level when it comes to expanding visitation numbers. If a majority is in favor, they will follow through with increasing visitors.

In April, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced the potential loosening of various restrictions at long-term care facilities. Those restrictions include doubling the number of designated essential visitors from two to four.

“We’re listening to what the seniors want to do,” Madden says. “It’s their home and we’re working within it, so we would like to respect that.”

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If there are concerns from residents, Madden believes they will be able to address quickly. He says the ultimate goal is to accommodate everyone as best as possible.

“If a lodge is against it, then we wouldn’t necessarily pursue the full-on visitation,” he says. “We’re looking forward to the seniors doing the assessments so we can see which direction we will be going within the lodges.”

Madden says it has been a long year and recognizes the mental stress and strain felt by residents. He adds they will continue with strong outbreak protocols, regardless of what decision is eventually made at each facility.

“Our top priority is keeping our residents safe. We want to keep the safety level as tight as possible.”

According to Madden, approximately 80 percent of all seniors in the care of the Grande Spirit Foundation have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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