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Family Visits and Christmas Holidays Update

By November 26, 2020 No Comments

Dear Families,

No doubt you are aware of the ever-changing status of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent concerns expressed by health officials regarding the rapid increase in active cases. The provincial government’s lockdowns of Toronto and Peel regions is evidence of the actions that sometimes must be taken in order to protect the greatest number of people.

As the province adjusts its decisions on policies and practices related to public safety, we at Sensity must also consider if or how we need to adjust our practices. I am writing today to share with you information on two particular topics – family visits and the upcoming Christmas holidays.

Family Visits

We recognize the essential role that families play in the lives of the people in our services. With the introduction of the lockdown in some areas of the province, we wanted to consider the impact this could have on your visits with your son or daughter. Listed below are the newest guidelines regarding family visits, including some additional safety precautions:

  • All families who wish to schedule a visit with their loved one, regardless of the colour status of their region, will be welcomed. We believe the visits are essential to the mental health and well-being of the people in our services and do not want to exclude any family who wants to

  • During their visit, all families will now be expected to wear gowns as well as masks. Sensity will provide the gowns upon arrival at the site of the

  • For the next 28 days, families will not be able to take their loved one for a car ride. However, families are able to take the individual for a walk around Sensity’s property while wearing gowns and

To increase the ability of families to schedule a visit, we have expanded visiting hours to include Sundays. Beginning Sunday, November 28 supervisory staff will be regularly scheduled on Sundays to allow for visits to take place. The hours of the visits remain the same – 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. If you wish to book a visit on a Sunday, please contact Lily Crawford at lcrawford@sensity.ca at least five days in advance.

Christmas Holiday Period

Regretfully, we have determined that it is necessary to continue to restrict the people in our residential services from travelling to their home communities, even during the Christmas holidays. I certainly appreciate how difficult this message will be to receive and can assure you that the decision by the senior leadership team was not made lightly. As I have mentioned above, we are diligent in following the lead of the provincial government, as well as the best recommendations from health experts.

Those recommendations include restricting holiday gatherings to households. For the people who live in our residential settings, their household is that setting and the people with whom they are sharing their home.

I want to assure you that we will continue to offer times to book a visit with your son or daughter through the Christmas season. Our Intervenor Services Team has committed to being available to supervise family visits both on Christmas Day and Boxing Day (December 25 and December 26). Again, the visits can be pre-arranged through Lily Crawford, and will be available in the same time slots (10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m-4:30 p.m). We respectfully request that families provide us with a minimum of eight days’ notice of their intent to visit on Christmas Day or Boxing Day. This notice is required to allow us to plan appropriately as we are anticipating a larger number of visitors than usual on these days. As you are making your plans for the holidays, if it is possible to provide even more notice, it would be greatly appreciated!

Should you have any questions, I encourage you to reach out to your son or daughter’s Manager – either Shari Ernst (Paris and London) or Cullen Drew (Sudbury, Welland and Kingston).

Meantime, we continue to closely monitor the pandemic and we are prepared to adjust our plans as they relate to family visits and the Christmas holiday accordingly.

Sue Hall
Director of Services

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