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Resident, Family and Staff Safety

The County of Simcoe Long Term Care and Seniors Services Mission statement is "To provide effective, high quality, safe and efficient long term care services in a home like setting for the clients and families that we serve."  Ensuring the safety of our clients and residents is of paramount importance to Long Term Care and Seniors Services staff and leadership.

The following provides an overview of areas of risk that.  By working in collaboration between Residents, Families and Staff, risk mitigation activities can ensure a safe living and working environment for all.

Be Involved In Your Care

  • Admission to Long Term Care (LTC) Homes can be an overwhelming experience for both the new Resident and Family member.
  • You will be provided with a Resident Handbook which contains key information to help you make the transition to LTC living.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions, both on the day of admission and everyday going forward.
  • Key leadership staff photos and titles are posted at the Main entrance to our Homes.
  • In the admission package, you will be provided with a business card which lists the contact information for the unit to which you/your family member is being admitted to.
  • The Resident's picture will be taken on the day of admission.  The picture is used as one of the key identification tools by staff.
  • Your plan of care will be developed with you/your family.  Please ensure that you share your preferences, goals, strengths and concerns with the staff to ensure that these are incorporated into you plan of care. 
  • Visitors are required to sign in and out of the building when visiting.
  • If you have any cultural or spiritual preferences, please communicate these to staff.

Medication

  • The County of Simcoe LTC Homes have a contracted service provider who supports the Homes with all their medication needs.
  • The LTC Homes Act stipulates that all medications provided to the Residents must come from the contracted pharmacy. 
  • The pharmacy is able to provide for most all medications.  In the event that they are unable to provide a specific medication, they will work with the Resident/Family and the Home Nursing staff to ensure the medication is provided.
  • On admission, the Nurse will record any allergies or sensitivities to medications, food and environmental allergens into the Resident profile.
  • The pharmacist, as part of the circle of care, reviews all medication profiles for all Residents and works closely with the Physician and Nursing staff to ensure that any risks or concerns are addressed.
  • The pharmacist also completes a quarterly medication review with the Physician to review current medications, risks and makes recommendations as required.
  • Residents are not permitted to keep medications, including over the counter medications (drops, creams/ointments) at their bedside.

Restraints

  • A restraint is a practice, device, pharmaceutical (drug) or product that limits or prevents a resident's range of motion or restricts their freedom to act, move or access an area.
  • The County of Simcoe has a "Least Restraint" philosophy, which means that we actively seek out all alternative methods to promote the residents safety and security needs while respecting their rights.
  • The risks associated with application of physical restraints is known to be higher than if a restraint is not used.
  • Restraints are applied only when, in consultation with the Resident/Family and the Physician, all other alternatives to the restraint have been tried and shown to be ineffective.
  • Risks associated with the use of restraints include:
    • Falls
    • Strangulation
    • Loss of bone and muscle mass
    • Pressure sores
    • Stiffness/decreased mobility
    • Loss of dignity
    • Agitation/frustration.
  • Risk of falls is the main reason that a restraint is initiated.  Alternatives available to reduce the risk of falls without the use of restraints include:
    • High low beds
    • 'Safe Hips', (padded undergarments)
    • Fall mats
    • Physiotherapy and exercise programs
    • Social activities.

Fire Safety and Smoking

  • Fire plans are available in all our Homes.
  • In the event that you hear a fire alarm, please follow the direction of the staff during the alarm.
  • Our LTC Homes are all equipped with sprinkler systems and fire doors.
  • Please note that smoking is only permitted in designate outdoor areas.
  • Please note that staff are not able to support residents to smoke from a Health and Safety perspective. If a resident choses to smoke, they must be able to do so safely and according to the Smoke Free Ontario.  All smoking material must be provided by the Resident/Family and must be kept secured.

Infection Control

  • Please ensure you wash your hands upon entering and leaving our Homes.
  • Clean hands often, especially before you eat or drink and after using the bathroom.
  • There are hand sanitizer stations located throughout the Homes.
  • If you are ill, or have had contact with an ill person, please refrain from visiting.
  • In the event of a respiratory or enteric outbreak, affected residents may be isolated to their rooms while they are ill.
  • We work in collaboration with the Public Health during an outbreak and may be directed to restrict access to specific residents, home areas or in some cases, the entire Home during an outbreak.
  • Environmental cleaning practices are enhanced during the "Outbreak season" (traditionally October to March).
  • Annual Influenza vaccines are offered and encouraged to all Home Residents and Staff.

Personal Safety

  • If, at any time, you feel threatened or unsafe, report this to staff immediately.
  • Report any health and safety concerns that you observe or experience so remedial action can take place.
  • Access to the Home between 10 pm to 7 am is made by using the phone in the front entrance which is connected directly to the Supervising Registered Nurse.
  • All visitors are required to sign in and out of the Home when visiting. 
  • Residents who wish to have money in their rooms are encouraged to only keep a small amount. 

Resident, Family and Staff Safety

  • Please be courteous and respectful of others.
  • Videotaping co residents without their consent is prohibited.
  • If you wish to hire private companions, please ensure that they are aware that their role is limited to friendly visiting. 
  • Privately hired caregivers (for example, a personal support worker) must undergo an orientation to the Home, policies and equipment and provide proof of liability insurance prior to providing care activities in our Homes.  This is a legislated requirement.
  • The use of transfer equipment such as mechanical lifts must only be used with trained Home staff.  Family members are not permitted to be the 2nd operator on this equipment.  There must be two (2) staff at all times.
  • Our LTC Homes support a Zero Tolerance for Abuse and Neglect.  This applies to staff as well as to families and visitors.  Abuse is not tolerated under any circumstance.  Staff are expected to treat everyone with dignity and respect and as an employer, we expect.

How to Make a Complaint

County of Simcoe Long Term Care and Seniors Services values the input of our Residents and families.  If at any time, you have concerns, complaints or suggestions for improvements, please bring them forward.  The chart below will help guide you on how to proceed.