Health & Safety is our highest priority
BC has done well in bringing COVID-19 curve under control and PARC has continued to remain operational and COVID-free.
Here are some of the steps we’re taking to ensure the safety of our communities:
PARC Safe Suite Tours
As COVID-19 restrictions ease across B.C., PARC Retirement Living residences are hosting safe suite tours for prospective residents. For now, tours are by appointment, in designated show suites. We have new protocols to keep tour participants safe:
Group size limit
Each potential resident (or couple) may be accompanied by one family member, maximum. We encourage other family members to “ride along” using FaceTime or other video-calling apps. Virtual tours and photos are also available.
Health declaration form
All members of the touring party will be required to sign a declaration form stating they’re in good health.
Visitors will use specially reserved elevators and doors at each residence. Elevators and high-touch points are sanitized after each tour.
Tours will be held in the show suite, with physical distancing in effect, and masks provided. (Common areas are still off-limits for safety reasons.)
The show suite and other areas visited will receive extra cleaning before the tour. Hand sanitizer will available for visitors to use.
We’ve added extra sanitizing procedures in all of our residences, flagging common areas and high-frequency touch points – such as reception desks (where we have also added plexiglass barriers) for special attention. To achieve this level of sanitization, we have increased our staffing levels and hours dedicated to routinely sanitizing our buildings from top to bottom.
Mandating social distancing
We’ve implemented physical distancing in our dining rooms and common amenity areas. We have rearranged the dining areas to ensure that residents maintain appropriate distancing. We have placed physical-distancing reminder stickers and posters in areas where people usually congregate, such as reception, dining entrances, inside and outside elevators, parking garage vestibules, fitness centres, and multi-purpose rooms.
Requiring employees to wear masks
PARC has implemented the mandatory use of masks by our staff to further protect residents from potential asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals. Residents mask wearing is optional.
PARC employees are provided masks to help protect both residents and employees. We have also installed plexiglass windows at reception areas to keep both residents and staff safe.
Reducing employee points of contact
As a result of the Provincial Order that employees cannot work at more than one senior residence, or for more than one health care employer, we have also limited any part-time or casual employees To ensure the safety of all our residents and staff, we’ve asked employees who have had any risk of exposure to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days. We have also stopped sharing employees between PARC Retirement Living communities until the Provincial Order is lifted.
All residents are strongly encouraged to modify any upcoming travel plans. Any residents who have travelled internationally, across Canada or the US will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days before accessing any shared amenity spaces.
PARC Safe Choice Checklist
We have prepared a PARC Safe Choice Checklist of the safest options for services residents may want to use during the ongoing pandemic. These fall into the categories of personal services (hair salons and aestheticians), medical services (doctors, chiropractors, etc.), food services (groceries and dining) and social connection (family visits). The checklist outlines PARC’s policy on safety measures, along with important considerations to help residents make decisions about using these services.
To give our residents greater freedom while safeguarding the safety of all, we have divided the most frequent outings into low-, medium- and high-risk categories, and adjusted our protocols accordingly for each category:
- Low risk: Destinations with a high degree of certainty that health-and-safety plans are in place and being enforced. E.g. doctor’s, hospital outpatient, dentist and other health professional appointments.
Protocol: Basic sign-in/out log for contact tracing.
- Medium risk: Places where procedures are in place but may not be consistently followed or administered. E.g. grocery and retail outlets, hair salons and restaurants. Protocol: Sign-in/out log for contact tracing. For most medium-risk destinations and activities, PARC is also offering a PARC Safe in-house or vetted option in the community.
- High risk: Places and activities most recently opened by the province, where formal health-and-safety plans aren’t required and the risk level is unknown. E.g. vacations, travel, family overnight visits and large social gatherings. Protocol: Customized Information and Disclosure Form. This two-part document provides resources and helpful information that residents need before engaging in a high-risk activity. Upon return to their PARC community, residents will be asked to complete the disclosure portion of the form for tracing purposes. The General Manager will review the completed form to determine what measures, if any, are needed to mitigate increased risk of COVID-19 resulting from the activity.
We have limited non-essential visits to our communities. Anyone who must enter the premises will have to sign a risk declaration, and we have implemented a “single entry” system, so that reception can closely monitor essential visitors and residents who are requesting access to enter.
Home support services
PARC is an independent living provider; however, some of our residents may require assistance from home support services. These residents can arrange their support services on a private-pay basis with a third-party provider or through a funded relationship with the local health authority. These home support services are similar to the services our residents could receive if they lived in their own homes. To limit the number of care providers entering our communities, PARC is protecting residents by using a single private care provider with dedicated staff exclusively at each of our PARC residences.
Outdoor family dining
We are now offering a “PARC Safe” al fresco family dining option that allows residents and their loved ones to enjoy meals together. This new dining experience is by reservation only, in designated safe outdoor areas on heated patios or in heated dining tents at our PARC communities. PARC residents can make reservations with the front desk according to their community’s Family Dining schedule. Family members will receive information on how to access the designated dining area. They will also be asked to fill out a Disclosure Form prior to entry, for safety and contact-tracing purposes.
Social activities and online connections
Daily exercise classes and on-going fitness activities have increased to accommodate social distancing. Any other social group programs, events and cultural activities have physically distancing protocols in place. To keep our residents active, we have also added virtual programming including mental health and mindfulness speakers to art and journaling classes. Residents have the option to join physically distanced group walks led by our Active Living Manager. Bus trips have also increased so our drivers can take residents out for scenic drives with well spaced seating.
PARC has a well utilized “Shared iPad Program” to help residents who do not own a digital device to connect to their loved ones. Each PARC residence has 5 iPads which can be signed out at Reception and are available in 45-minute blocks. We have allocated 15-minutes in between each booking to ensure ample time for return and sanitizing prior to the next user. Our Active Living Managers hold technology lessons to help residents get connected online via iPads, laptops to using video conferencing apps.
Residents can still enjoy each other’s company while practicing physical distancing in the dining rooms. We have rearranged dining times to allow for multiple dining sessions to ensure residents feel safe. We are following all government guidelines in our dining areas, such as frequent and thorough handwashing, and staff are required to wear masks.
Health and Wellness Support
Our team is available to assist residents 24/7 and will dispatch an emergency-response team to assist if anything were to happen. Each residence has a dedicated, onsite Wellness Nurse to provide consultations on support on health and wellness. If personal or health support is required, Wellness Nurse can provide options and information so residents and families can take a well-informed next step.
Shopping for groceries and essential items
We know some residents may find it inconvenient to obtain essential items such as shampoo, soap, and toilet paper, so we’ve taken extra measures to ensure we have these items on hand, and we also help residents order online to avoid busy grocery stores as much as possible. Check out our in-house market (in-house farmers style market) where residents are able to purchase essential items for an easy and safe shopping experience.
Physical distancing and safety practices
PARC launched a sticker and poster campaign to help reinforce this practice. Colourful floor stickers have been placed six feet apart in common areas and in high-traffic work areas.
High-touch areas like housekeeping rooms, kitchen doors and gyms have also been flagged with posters, reminding employees to wash their hands often. More posters advocate washing hands for 20 seconds, sneezing into your sleeve or a tissue and not touching your face.
PARC employees are provided washable or disposable masks to help protect employees in certain positions. We have also installed plexiglass windows at reception areas to keep both residents and staff safe.
All employees are asked to sign a COVID-19 declaration form weekly that they did not travel to high risk areas, have symptoms or have been in contact with anyone who has travelled. If they have, employees are asked to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to work.
All employees are strongly encouraged to modify all travel plans to comply with BC Health and Safety protocols. Any employees who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or have travelled beyond BC borders or internationally will be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days before returning to work.
COVID-19 Response Content
In response to COVID-19, we have been actively creating content for COVID related issues to help seniors stay informed and connected including safety tips, indoor exercises, uplifting stories, activities to improve mental, physical and spiritual well-being while in quarantine or self-isolation. Read more on our blog at https://parcliving.ca/blog/category/covid-19-news/.
Do PARC residences have any confirmed cases of COVID-19?
To date, PARC has been fortunate to have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any of our residences. We continue to work hard at keeping our residents and staff healthy and safe during the pandemic – and we couldn’t do it without the tireless efforts of our dedicated frontline staff.
What happens if a resident at PARC develops COVID-19?
We take a genuine and proactive interest in the health of our residents and would immediately get in touch with the local health authority for direction. The health authority is ultimately responsible for any actual medical care concerning anyone who contracts the COVID-19 virus and all tracing protocols. We would also immediately isolate any such resident and anyone else who has been in close contact with them to determine next steps. In most cases, residents and contacts would ultimately be isolated for 14 days. Any PARC employee in direct contact would be sent home to isolate themselves for 14 days under an existing arrangement between the staff and PARC Retirement Living.
How is PARC communicating with residents and their families during COVID-19?
Our goal is to keep residents and their loved ones as informed as possible. We send regular email updates to both residents and families and have also set up a private Family of Residents Facebook page where we’re answering questions from family members in a timely manner, and also taking feedback and suggestions. In addition to online communication, our General Managers have been hosting weekly resident meetings to inform everyone of changes and for answering questions and concerns.
Can family and friends visit their loved ones?
Yes! We are able to accommodate socially distanced visits in our PARC Family Meetup Centres, now available at all PARC Retirement Living residences. These pod-like portables are self-contained all-weather structures with windows, heating and air conditioning. They have separate, clearly marked entrances for residents and their visitors. Inside, plexiglass shields separate the resident from the visitors. Each PARC Family Meetup Centre is equipped with sanitizer dispensers and comfortable furnishings. We also have washroom trailers onsite for family members to use. We also have family Al fresco dining on heated patios and in heated private tents. Plus, our residents are free to visit their extended families using all the safety protocols and tracing documentation required prior to the visitation.
What protocols are required for new residents moving in?
Before move-in, one of our managers will meet with the new resident to review and complete a Move-In Disclosure Form. All new PARC residents also receive a Pre-Move-In Precautionary Plan and are encouraged to self-isolate for 10 days prior to arrival, then take a COVID-19 test. If the new resident follows this procedure, and the COVID test comes back negative, no-self isolation will be required upon arrival. If pre-arrival self-isolation isn’t possible, the new resident will be required to isolate for 10 days in their suite. If self-isolation is possible, but a COVID test can’t be arranged before arrival, the new resident must self-isolate in their suite for three days. During all in-suite isolations, a PARC employee will visit daily to monitor for symptoms, and meals will be delivered at no extra charge outside the suite door. If the resident remains asymptomatic throughout their isolation period, he or she may then leave the suite, but will be required to follow a set of extra precautions for the next seven days.
Covid-19 Related Blog Posts
Here's what are residents are saying about PARC
BenOceana PARC resident
“Our amazing staff, all wearing face masks, look after us well while we practice social distancing – six feet apart. Daily exercise classes and other activities have been increased so that participating numbers remain within safe boundaries. We are happy and well looked after at the community.”
JohnSummerhill PARC resident
“PARC clearly understood that its residents are the most vulnerable, and acted quickly with the necessary measures. Sanitisation, social distancing, reduction of programs, lack of visitors, etc. we all fully understood the need for such measures. As each phase of the shutdown was implemented it was done so in such a manner that it had a minimum impact on all residents. Perhaps more importantly was the training and involvement of the staff who have overcome difficult circumstances to look after and care for their residents.”
Rose & JohnMulberry PARC residents
“These are indeed challenging times – we feel very lucky to have moved here just before. No worry about meals. The table is always set nicely to enjoy a tasty meal. No cleaning lady to worry about. The housekeeping is done and everything is sanitized.”