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COVID-19 Screeners: Keeping people safe when it matters the most

COVID-19 Screeners: Keeping people safe when it matters the most

With the onset of the pandemic last spring, Carefor Pembroke residential care homes – Civic Complex and Mackay Centre – implemented a screening process at both buildings to ensure that residents remain safe while still getting to enjoy their meaningful relationships with family members and friends. 

Jana Wood, Community Support Services Program Supervisor, says the screeners have been working tirelessly on the front lines and have made a world of difference.From left to right: Bev, Jesse, Brycen

“Their attendance and dedication have been flawless. They have been faced with many challenges including ever-changing government directives to un-cooperative individuals, but they always rise to the challenge. Team screeners are instrumental in keeping our residents and staff as protected as possible, taking much needed pressure off the care team staff.”

Jesse Hein, Mackay Centre receptionist who does the day screening, says the job has not been without its challenges. The biggest being having to deny a visitor from entering the building.

“I find that most visitors are denied entry for reasons that are familiar to all of us; they may have misinterpreted a guideline, or they may have simply left their COVID test results on the kitchen table and forgot to grab it when they walked out the door. Saying no to that visit, when you know how much it means to not only the visitor but to the resident is never easy … That said, most people understand that it is for the safety of the residents.”

Despite these sorts of challenges, the screeners agreed that the job has been rewarding.

Brycen Godin worked with the Going Home Program prior to the pandemic, and when the opportunity came up to be a screener, he jumped at the opportunity. Both his parents were PSWs so he felt right at home working for Carefor. “I love the residents and everyone that works here is awesome; there is never a bad shift. This is the best job I have ever had.”

Bev Suprovich has worked as a Carefor Companion for thirteen years, and when the pandemic hit she was unable to go into clients’ homes. She happily accepted the position of keeping residents safe when they need it the most. Her favourite part, much like the other screeners shared, were the connections she made with the residents.

Jesse Hein says the best part of being a screener is “getting to see how much brighter and happier a resident is after a visit.”

“In a world where distance is not only prevalent but required, our residents can feel much removed from just about every aspect of their ‘normal’ lives. Getting to sit down and chat with a daughter, a father or a friend really helps to soften that distance. I’ve never met a visitor who doesn’t leave some cheer at Carefor when they go, nor have I ever met a resident who doesn’t spread that cheer to everyone they come across,” she adds.

A heartfelt thank you to all our screeners for helping keep our residents safe and connected!

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