3 Important questions to ask when looking for Assisted Living facility during pandemic

November 30, 2020

3 Important questions to ask when looking for Assisted Living facility during pandemic

During this unforeseen time of great difficulty, Covid-19 pandemic has brought some major stress and dilemmas when it comes to taking care of a family member. Maybe you are worried about the decline in physical activity your relative is getting, or the dependence on others that seems to be growing for them at the moment. It is stressful to face the anxiety of properly caring for vulnerable family member who’s life depends on your health and well being, or on that of a caregiver. Both, family members and caregivers alike, have been caught between giving the support that they need, and ensuring their loved one isn’t exposed to any additional illness in the process.

When families start the journey of figuring out how to choose "a new home" or assisted facility for their family member during pandemic it is important to ask the right questions. Try to find out what measures and safety precautions are in place. Below, we have created a list of 3 questions to help you find some peace of mind, and get the best possible options for the care you require.

 1. Will you be accommodating new clients during Covid-19 Pandemic?

Unfortunately many in-care facilities, and even outsourced Agencies have had to close their doors to new clients temporarily during the time of pandemic. The first and most important of all questions when contacting a facility by phone is to address whether it is an option to have your loved one be accommodated at this time. The sooner you reach out and start researching your options, the sooner you can get on a waiting list if there is one, and or get the placement in the right home care facility.

Here at Shalom Home Care we can accommodate in house, no more the 8 eligible clients. We feel that having a small group home allows us to keep the safety of our clients at the forefront, and less exposure to a large staff facility. We do provide 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year assistance and can answer any of your questions by phone daily during the business working hours. Shalom Home Care has a 15 year history in the field, and can ensure the clients receive the right fit and care, be it in group home or in the comfort of your own home if you decide that it works better for you.

2.  What steps and precautions are you taking to support the safety of your clients?

All assisted living facilities and care providers need to be following the strict guidelines provided by Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Here is a helpful links for you to learn all about the guidelines that should be in place. 

Long term care home COVID-19 infection prevention and control: Interim guidance - Canada.ca

COVID-19 - Guidance for the Health Sector - Ministry Programs - Health Care Professionals - MOH (gov.on.ca)

At our group home we provide service that not only meets the physical safety of our clients, but also meets spiritual and emotional well being of each individual with catered protocols. We are here to support our clients and their families. The health of our clients and workers is our number one priority with pandemic, or without.

3.  How does your facility addresses spiritual and emotional needs of your clients during pandemic?

Although the number one priority in any home care facility should be to protect the safety and physical health of an individual, client-centered care should also subsequently provide spiritual, mental and psychological assistance to the same extent. In the wake of Covid -19 mental and spiritual challenges have become further aggravated and mental health has become an even larger concern then in the past. As a whole, it is a serious public health concern, but significantly more so in vulnerable population, for example older adults. Every person has unique needs and it is very important to properly care for a person with those requirements in mind.

Here at Shalom Home Care, we assist in writing personal letters to family, provide social support networks, connect families with video calls or in person visits that ensure safety protocols are kept. Our coordinators will work out a plan that fits your needs. We mitigate safety concerns with strategies and creative ways to add daily joy, activities, spiritual assistance, organized video events to help your loved one feel right at home.

And, if you are looking for caregivers come to your home to provide care instead of relocating to assisted living facility, we will certainly provide those visits and give you a helping hand with added care and companionship. Anything to help individuals have the best quality of life possible in the way that is comfortable.

If you are looking to hire private help at your home, please see below our recommendations.

Ensure that caregiver has The Vulnerable Sector Check (offence information, including convictions, outstanding warrants, charges and judicial orders available from a local police agency).

Ask if a caregiver has CPR certificate. Any other special training? 

When you discuss your requirements with a Homecare Agency, please make sure you get information about caregiver's replacement policy and pandemic safety precautions in place.

The interview with a caregiver should entail a full discussion about Client's needs and limitations, as well as your expectations including specific duties and responsibilities. 

Ask caregiver to wear personal protective equipment during pandemic (mask should be changed every few hours), frequently wash hands, not to bring to your home unnecessary items, change outdoor shoes, to notify you immediately if they have any new symptoms or known exposure to a person who has confirmed Covid case, and any traveling. 

    Lastly, don’t hesitate to give credit to first impressions, in general our instincts lead us to the right fit in finding a right prospective homecare facility, or caregiver. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at SHALOMHOMECARE.CA or at 647 -261-9953.


    Have a Blessed Day!

    Yana Smirnov,

    Shalom Home Care  




    FREE Consultation