Long-Term Care

Long-Term Care

A message to visitors of Macassa and Wentworth Lodges

May 27, 2020

As you may have already seen reported in the news, the recent military report on five long-term care homes in Ontario has been shared publicly. Like you, we find these stories to be extremely disturbing and upsetting. We are heartbroken for any of the individuals who have had to deal with these horrible circumstances.

We continue to work tirelessly and to the best of our ability to protect your loved ones and provide the best possible care to keep them healthy and safe. Our staff remain committed to ensuring all residents have access to the highest level of care as we navigate these unprecedented times. We are grateful to our staff members and health system partners for their continued dedication and hard work under challenging circumstances over the past several months.

Since the first signs of COVID-19 in early March, we have been decisive and swift in following both directives and recommendations from the Ministry of Health, Public Health and Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Some precautionary measures put in place include:

  • rigorous screening measures
  • timely and appropriate use of personal protective equipment
  • following physical distancing protocols
  • thorough hygiene and sanitation processes

Our collective efforts have proven successful to-date and our hope is that the various measures in place will continue to protect our residents, staff and community.

The health, safety and well-being of all our residents and staff remains our number one priority. We will continue to share up to date information as it becomes available. Thank you once again for your continued patience, support and trust during this difficult and emotional time.

We are here for you. Please do not hesitate to connect if you have any questions or concerns. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care also has a toll-free ACTION Line where you can call to report urgent matters regarding resident rights, safety and care. Long-Term Home Care ACTION line: toll-free 1-866-434-0144 (8:30 am to 7 pm, 7 days a week)

Your loved ones are important to us and we are working as hard as we can to keep everyone safe and healthy. Together we can get through this.

Holly Odoardi
Senior Administrator
Macassa & Wentworth Lodges

Karen Allcroft
Administrator
Wentworth Lodge

I want to thank you for your ongoing cooperation and patience during these challenging times. Rest assured that we continue to work tirelessly and to the best of our ability to protect your loved ones and keep them, along with our staff team, healthy and safe. 

The preventative measures implemented in early March to fight the spread of COVID-19 are reviewed and adjusted regularly, in keeping with directives and recommendations from the Ministry and Public Health professionals.

As you know, the recent measures put in place as part of the Ministry’s universal testing directive means that residents and staff in all long-term care homes will be swabbed. I want to let you know that swabbing of residents across both Homes is now complete. Universal testing of staff began on May 4 and will continue this week in an attempt to determine if anyone is asymptomatic. Our nursing teams continue working in conjunction with Public Health Services and Hamilton Paramedics; we expect test results later this week.

With Mother’s Day approaching this weekend, we understand this is a time many of us would normally spend with family celebrating the special women in our lives. We are faced with a different reality this year that will certainly be an adjustment for our residents, staff and families. A reminder that no plant or flower deliveries will be accepted in the Homes. Our staff will continue to help residents connect with you by phone and video chat – we know this makes an incredible difference to your loved ones.

The warmer weather is a great reason to get outside and enjoy fresh air. We are working with staff recreationists on a schedule to accommodate 1:1 visits for residents who want to go for a stroll in one of our courtyards. Thanks to our landscape contractor Heritage Green for their work to make the outside areas safe for walking.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated staff for their perseverance. They come in to work each day to be the extended family supporting and caring for your loved ones. I am proud of the work they do every day, especially during these uncertain times.

Thank you for your continued support, trust and understanding.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we continue to do everything we can to adhere to Public Health and the Ministry of Health guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our residents, staff and community. Here’s what we are doing to keep people safe: 

On the direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, all non-essential visiting was stopped on March 14, 2020. This includes no visiting on the premise. Exceptions will only be made for residents who are extremely ill or receiving palliative care. Any “essential” visitors must be actively screened before entering. Those who fail screening cannot enter. All other visitors will be denied entry. To help loved ones stay connected during this challenging time, we are keeping residents connected to their families via phone, Facetime, Skype and/or other technologies as available.

Residents are screened twice daily for any symptoms. Any residents with COVID-19 symptoms are immediately isolated in their rooms according to longstanding infection prevention and control practices. All staff must be actively screened for symptoms before, during and at the end of their shift, including taking temperatures. ANYONE that fails any part of the screening process will be asked to leave work and to contact public health and/or their health care provider.

Currently, swabbing has been done on all symptomatic residents and new admissions. The recently announced enhanced COVID testing in LTC Homes means a single positive swab in either a resident or a staff person will:

Immediately put the Lodge into a declared COVID Outbreak, and;
Require all residents and staff in the Lodge to have a nasal swab completed.

The Ministry is mandating proactive surveillance testing in all LTC Homes, meaning all staff and residents will have a swab completed for COVID. Public Health Units are working on an implementation plan that will be rolled out in the near future. In the meantime, we will contact substitute decision makers to get informed consent for those nasal swabs.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health has advised that residents should remain in the Lodge and not leave the premises except under medically warranted circumstances. We are strictly adhering to this direction. Medically necessary treatment will be authorized by attending medical staff in conjunction with our management team. This is a difficult but necessary decision to help ensure our residents are as safe as possible.

Our group programs continue to be postponed. Our Homes initiated this prior to the closure of visitors on March 14, 2020 to help prevent further spread of any type of cold symptoms. As we rearrange the dining rooms to achieve physical distancing, we plan to trial new programming ideas after each meal and during one-to-one visits.

All appointments – unless deemed essential – continue to be cancelled until further notice. We are working with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Hamilton Health Sciences to explore Virtual Care to keep our residents in their Homes and not in doctor’s offices or hospitals, including the emergency room, when possible. We are working around the clock to initiate this as soon as possible. As information is available, we will certainly share with residents, families and staff.

Physical distancing efforts for staff and residents have quickly become the new normal. In the days ahead we will implement more strategies to provide greater physical distancing for residents, particularly during meal times.

Our Leadership teams including our Medical Directors activated our Pandemic Committee on March 9, 2020. The Committee meets daily to implement Ministry of Health and Public Health directives, ensuring we can respond quickly and effectively to the changing environment.

Staff are provided with mask, eye protection, gloves and gowns for resident care for anyone in isolation and others based on a thorough assessment by our nurses, in consultation with the doctors. Additionally, hand sanitizer stations are placed in every resident room and throughout the Lodges in all common areas and hallways.

As of April 8, 2020, all staff must wear a mask at all times in the Lodges to protect residents and co-workers from potentially being infected by an asymptomatic staff person. This practice is different than wearing a mask while caring for a resident in isolation due to illness.

As of April 15, 2020, staff were mandated to only work for a single health employer for the duration of the pandemic. As an early adopter of this recommendation on March 26, 2020, we strengthened our defences perhaps more quickly than other Homes could. Scheduling adjustments have also been made to limit the number of resident home areas staff can work in. Under an emergency order, all staff vacations and stat holidays have been cancelled for the foreseeable future to help stabilize staffing resources.

We continue to follow all Public Health recommendations relating to Outbreak Management, including early identification of residents with symptoms that could be contagious, providing in-room isolation care to residents with symptoms, prompt testing for COVID-19 and other viruses, and ongoing consultation with our assigned Public Health Inspector. An Infection Control Practitioner (ICP) also works to direct and evaluate the Infection Prevention and Control Program between both Lodges.

Any resident who has typical or atypical symptoms of COVID-19 is immediately isolated from other residents and in-room isolation care is initiated. A nasal swab is completed and sent to Public Health for testing. All in-room isolation care is completed by staff trained in using full PPE (gowns, gloves, mask, face shield).

If a resident is confirmed to be COVID-19 positive, we will provide care and treatment to the resident in the Lodge in collaboration with the primary care physician and with all the necessary isolation and protective measures in place. Experts believe this will be the safest and most comfortable place for a resident to be.

All scheduled care conferences, tours, meetings, etc. have been cancelled until further notice.

We will continue to share updates and new information when available with staff, residents, visitors and the community. If you are a family member of a resident at Macassa or Wentworth Lodge and would like to receive email updates during the closure, email [email protected] OR [email protected] and include in the email your full name and the name of your family member.

The health and safety of our residents, staff, family, volunteers, students and other visitors remains our main priority. As part of the coordinated response to COVID-19 and to ensure a safe and secure environment for residents, Macassa and Wentworth Lodges will have a no-visitor policy until further notice.

These added precautionary measures follow the direction of Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ministry of Health and are effective immediately.

Exceptions will only be made for residents who are extremely ill or receiving palliative care. We will continue to have a staff member at the main entrance with an up-to-date list of residents who are actively palliative – these visitors must continue to be actively screened before entering. Those who fail screening cannot enter. All other visitors will be denied entry.

We are looking for other opportunities to keep residents connected to their families during this time. We ask that you use the phone, Facetime, Skype, and/or other technologies as available to stay in touch with your loved one.

We will continue to monitor and reevaluate these measures in the coming weeks as the situation evolves. This is a difficult time that we recognize will be challenging for you and your loved ones. We appreciate your understanding and thank you for your cooperation. If you would like to receive email updates from us during this closure, please email [email protected] OR [email protected] and include in the email your full name and the name of your family member.

The City of Hamilton is actively monitoring COVID-19 and taking steps to protect the health and safety of the community. 

For more City of Hamilton COVID-19 information and regular updates:

Once again, thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this challenging time. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to connect with us.Let’s all do what we can to stay healthy and safe!

The health and safety of our residents, staff, family, volunteers, students and other visitors remains our main priority. As part of the coordinated response to COVID-19 and to ensure a safe and secure environment for residents, Macassa and Wentworth Lodges will have a no-visitor policy until further notice.

These added precautionary measures follow the direction of Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ministry of Health and are effective immediately.

Exceptions will only be made for residents who are extremely ill or receiving palliative care. We will continue to have a staff member at the main entrance with an up-to-date list of residents who are actively palliative – these visitors must continue to be actively screened before entering. Those who fail screening cannot enter. All other visitors will be denied entry.

We are looking for other opportunities to keep residents connected to their families during this time. We ask that you use the phone, Facetime, Skype, and/or other technologies as available to stay in touch with your loved one.

We will continue to monitor and reevaluate these measures in the coming weeks as the situation evolves. This is a difficult time that we recognize will be challenging for you and your loved ones. We appreciate your understanding and thank you for your cooperation. If you would like to receive email updates from us during this closure, please email [email protected] OR [email protected] and include in the email your full name and the name of your family member.

Service at a Glance

Macassa Lodge

Macassa Lodge is a is a not-for-profit long-term care facility with 270 beds.

Wentworth Lodge

Wentworth Lodge is a not-for-profit long-term care facility with 160 beds.

Apply for Long-Term Care

To start the admission process for any long-term care facility in Ontario you must contact the Hamilton Community Care Access Centre (CCAC).