Seniors ready for fresh air and Phase 2


Relaxed restrictions for the prevention of spreading COVID-19 this past weekend have created a bit of sunshine for seniors.

Wenda Anderson, who facilitates Killarney’s Services for Seniors, even managed to bring some music into the mix on Monday afternoon, after arranging a small outdoor concert at Lakeview Villa, a local assisted living complex.

“It was the first thing we did since March, when I think we maybe had exercises,” said Anderson. “I asked Brenda and Dale Lyons if they would come and do a concert. They used to come once a month, on the last Monday of each month, but they haven’t been able to because of COVID-19.”

Residents were able to sit outside in the fresh air, enjoy the music and singing, and then feast on watermelon, cookies, and coffee, said Anderson.

“It put a smile on everyone’s faces,” she said. “They needed that.”

Around 11 residents attended the event from Lakeview Villa, and another five strolled over from next door’s Royal Manor, she added, parking themselves on a cement pad nearby.

“Brenda and Dale play all over Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and are always in demand,” said Anderson. “It was wonderful to have them back.”

Anderson is also bringing back her Wednesday afternoon exercises for the seniors (at 2 p.m.), outside in the fresh air, when weather permits.

And she is hoping to have Betty Sorenson return to reading The Guide newspaper to the seniors, similarly ‘al fresco.’

“She used to read it on Fridays at 7 p.m., and we are going to try it outside, in the afternoon, at 2 p.m.,” said Anderson.

Social distancing and hygiene steps are all still in place and required, even as restrictions are easing, to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, say health experts. 

“As of May 22, gathering size limits were increased to 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors, while professional sports teams were allowed to return to their training facilities, as long as precautions were taken and the public is not allowed into those facilities,” said Manitoba Health.

LIVE MUSIC AT LAST AT LAKEVIEW VILLA – After more than two months of coronavirus restrictions, residents at Lakeview Villa (and a few from Royal Manor, far left) gathered outside on Monday to enjoy the live sounds of Brenda and Dale Lyons (left, under the eaves). “It put a smile on everyone’s face,” said Wenda Anderson, who arranged the lovely afternoon event. “They needed that.”

POPULAR DUO RETURN TO LAKEVIEW VILLA – Area musicians Brenda and Dale Lyons returned this week to Lakeview Villa, for an outdoor (under the eaves) concert for the residents of the assisted living facility. The popular couple used to make an indoor appearance there on the last Monday of each month, but have been curtailed since March due to COVID-19 restrictions. Now that rules are easing, everyone is happy to be getting outside more and enjoying the summer weather. Keep safe!


PUT ‘EM UP! – After opening with a foot-stomping round of “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary,” Wenda Anderson, coordinator for Services for Seniors, had the seniors at Lakeview Villa reaching high, during her very first Outdoor Exercises program held on Wednesday afternoon. The ‘move’ to bring back the popular event to the assisted living residence – outside, instead of inside – came after months of COVID-19 lockdown. It’s all part of the Manitoba government’s cautious Phase 2 of gradual re-opening, following the declaration of a global pandemic in March.


Visits to Bayside residents now available by appointment

‘Essential visitors’ to sit outside; while residents sit inside the ‘screen room’ for visits as COVID-19 restrictions loosen


After months of lockdown, residents of Bayside Personal Care Home will now be able to meet with visitors, albeit through a bug screen.

The long-awaited meetings will be taking place in a whole new way, to keep both visitors – and vulnerable senior residents – as safe as possible from the COVID-19 virus.

“We have designated the Screen Room, by Bayside, for visits,” said Care Team manager Shawn Lockhart. “The visits will start taking place on Friday, May 29, by appointment only. Visits will be 30 to 40 minutes long, and can only occur once every two weeks.”

Lara Barwick will be facilitating the visits, and meeting with scheduled visitors as they arrive, outside the Bayside entrance. 

Staff will bring the resident to the screen room, next to the Bayside entrance, and the visits will take place – in compliance with six feet of separation – as visitors sit outside the building in comfortable lawn chairs, and residents sit safely inside. 

If the weather is inclement, one area outside the screen room is sheltered with a roof, and visitors will still be able to sit outside, said staff.

However, only four ‘essential visitors’ will be able to register for the scheduled meetings, and families and friends are required to fill out a form prior to arranging a meeting with their loved one. 

And only a maximum of two of these designated people can visit a Bayside resident each time.

‘Essential visitors’ are those deemed essential to the emotional well being, health, and quality of life of your loved one, as defined in the Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) Request for Personal Care Home (PCH) Visitation form. 

“In most cases, visitors should be close family and/or friends who have a clearly established pattern of involvement in providing care and support,” said PMH.

All visits by essential visitors must be pre-booked at least one week prior to the scheduled visit, they said. A maximum of two essential visitors per resident will be permitted at a time, and an adult must accompany a minor. And visitors will be checked out for symptoms or risks of the virus before the visit.

Restrictions will also apply to visitors who have travelled outside of Manitoba within the past 14 days, and no visitor shall be permitted if they have any cold/flu or other COVID-19 symptoms, they said.

Opening up to visitors is being done with extreme care to minimize risk, said Lockhart. 

And no one knows how long the danger will continue, as the pandemic continues to spread worldwide.

“We know that family and friends are integral to the overall health, well-being, and quality of life of residents within PCHs,” said Lockhart. “Balancing necessary preventive measures with maintaining the vital connections that residents have with family members and support systems has been at the heart of every stage of our response. However, while preventing the spread of this virus within our facilities remains a central priority, the likelihood that COVID-19 will be a part of our ‘new normal’ for a longer duration requires us to find a longer-term balance between preventive measures, and the many benefits of ongoing interaction between residents and their loved ones.” 

Indoor visits remain suspended, said Lockhart, but exceptions will continue to be made on a case-by-case basis as per existing guidance, e.g. visits for compassionate and/or end of life reasons.

In addition, off-property visits are not permitted, given the risk to residents and to the facility associated with unknown nature of contacts, exposure, and other required safety measures.

“Protecting the health and well-being of your loved ones and staff remains one of our top priorities,” said Lockhart. “Regular assessment by public health officials of the impact and evaluation of the need for adjusted visitor restrictions will continue as developments evolve.  Once again, thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we take every measure to protect you, your loved ones and our staff.”

PMH added that visitation time, days, and additional information would be confirmed with families and essential visitors when calls are made to book the visiting appointments. 

Instructions and guidelines given to families and essential visitors must be followed during their visiting period, they said.

THIS IS HOW WE WILL ROLL – Katie Hockin (right), program assistant for Shawn Lockhart, along with Kara Flamond (inside the screen room), clinical resource nurse, demonstrate the planned new set-up for pre-scheduled social visits with Bayside residents, which start today (Friday). One to two ‘essential’ visitors will sit outside, in the lawn chairs, and the resident will be positioned inside the building, ready for a long-awaited personal chat with loved ones – in the fresh air.