What is the response from Families and Friends about Social Visits re-opening?

On June 30, 2020, we sent Families and Friends a survey to give us input into their experience and thoughts. Here are the survey results of 192 respondents – CLICK HERE

Since many of the respondents comments were confidential (names included), Sharon Simpson made a video and read most of their comments. You can watch the video here: FAMILY COMMENTS ABOUT VISITS RE-OPENING

Below the video, you can read the summary of the Frequently Asked Questions by Families.


Frequently Asked Questions – Long Term Care Visits at Menno Home, Menno Hospital and Terrace East Assisted Living

What are the requirements for me to have social visits with my family member or friend who lives at Menno Home, Menno Hospital or Terrace East Assisted Living apartment?

Family/social visits are limited to a maximum of one family member or friend. In the initial phase of visiting, residents will be able to visit with one designated family member or friend. This guideline does not allow for alternate designated visitors at this time.

What will I be required to do in order to visit?

  1. Be verified as the one designated visitor for your loved one for the initial phase of visits. This will be a resident’s spouse/partner if applicable. Otherwise, it will be the primary contact identified in the resident’s medical record. A spouse/partner will be prioritized for the first visits when we open the safe visitation program.
  2. Book your visit in advance. Menno Place will have an online booking calendar that will allow you to choose a date and time that is suitable for you. If you are not able to go online, you will call our Reception desk to book your visit.
  3. Follow all infection control protocols and processes:
  • Do not visit if you are sick. This includes respiratory infection or gastrointestinal infection or symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Identify yourself as the one designated visitor for this resident. You may be asked for photo ID and may have your photo taken.
  • Participate in the active screening process. This involves a staff member asking you questions about COVID-19 symptoms and exposure. They may take your temperature. These are the Active Screening Questions:
    1. Do you have a fever?
    2. Do you have a new or worsening cough?
    3. New or worsening sneezing?
    4. New or worsening sore throat?
    5. New or worsening shortness of breath?
    6. New or worsening fatigue?
    7. New or worsening aches and pains?
    8. New or worsening headaches?
    9. New or worsening vomiting?
    10. New or worsening diarrhea?
    11. Have you travelled outside the Fraser Valley?
  • Bring your own mask for the visit.
  • Receive instruction on how to wear your mask and any other required personal protective equipment during your visit.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water prior to your visit.
  • Use respiratory etiquette for any coughing or sneezing (into your elbow).
  • Do not touch your face.
  • Enjoy your visit in the designated area only.
  • A staff member will supervise your visit from a respectful distance to ensure compliance takes place and that no objects are passed between resident and visitor.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 2 meters from your loved one and staff at all times. This is a no-touch visit.
  • Comply with the visit ending at the agreed upon duration (30 minutes).
  • Wash your hands after your visit.
  • Book your next visit!
  1. What details do you know about the visits?
    • Length: At this time, we are planning 45 minute blocks of time for visits. Visits will be 30 minutes long, allowing for the visiting location to be disinfected between visits.
    • Number of Visitors: One designated visitor only. There will not be an opportunity in this initial phase to alternate or have multiple visitors.
    • Frequency of Visits: This is to be determined based upon demand and staff capacity to facilitate visits. We are taking a cautious and phased approach in order to
    • Location: Visits will take place both indoors and outdoors.
    • Weekend/Evening Visits: This will be determined by the staff capacity to facilitate visits. We consider this important to enable visits for those visitors who are unable to visit during the week or daytime.
    • Items/Gifts/Objects: No items can be brought into the care homes or passed between resident and visitor. The essential deliveries only policy remains in place.
    • Mobility: If a resident has mobility challenges, the visit will be assessed individually and a visit will be accommodated.
    • Plexiglass/Barrier: This is still to be determined as we plan the visiting locations.
    • Cancelling a Visit: Through the online booking calendar, you may cancel a visit if you are not able to attend. You may also cancel by phoning the Receptionist. Menno Place may cancel visits due to poor weather, staffing needs or non-compliance with protocols.
  2. How does COVID-19 impact social visits?
    • COVID-19 Symptoms or Exposure: Visitors who have COVID-19 symptoms, are in social isolation or have recently travelled will not be permitted to visit.
    • COVID-19 Outbreak: Social visits will only be allowed if there is no COVID-19 outbreak at the care home.
    • COVID-19 Second Wave: If there is a second wave of COVID-19, it is possible that visits will, once again, be restricted.

Update on Visits Re-opening in Menno Home, Hospital and TE AL

On June 30th, Bonnie Henry, BC Public Health Officer and Adrian Dix, BC Minister of Health announced that we would re-open visits to long-term care homes and assisted living apartments.

We continue to await funding promised by Adrian Dix for up to 3 FTE staff at each of our three locations to support safe and no-touch visits before we begin these visits. We do not have a start-date for visits. Our safety plan to accomodate safe visits will rely on how many additional support staff we receive through this promised funding.

You can read the visit protocols that we’ve outlined for families on our Family and Friends website: CLICK HERE

Here is a video update from Sharon Simpson, Director, Community Enrichment that was made for families to keep them updated.

Video Link on YouTube: https://youtu.be/jYvfuH-u5as

Kim Scott and Smitha Varghese – Directors of Care

We are pleased to announce that both Kim Scott (formerly Cantwell – Kim was married on Dec. 21, 2019) and Smitha Varghese have accepted the position of Director of Care (DOC), effective July 6th.

Kim Scott, Director of Care – Menno Home

Smitha Varghese, Director of Care – Menno Hospital

Congratulations on your new roles, Kim and Smitha! We look forward to your continued leadership!

How are families feeling about the upcoming visits? Thank you’s to the staff!

On June 30, 2020, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that visits to residents in long term care and assisted living will resume. We sent out a survey to 1448 subscribers to the Family and Friends Newsletter asking them for their input on the upcoming visits. Here are some comments that they made for you, our staff. Families are grateful for your sacrifices, cautious about visits and excited to see their loved ones. A safety plan will be developed, a booking system put into place and additional staff will be assigned to support these visits.

Here is what families and friends of residents are saying to you in the survey – they thank you for your sacrifices and love. BE PROUD of your work – you have brought confidence and peace to families. Thank you.

Thank you for your cautious approach to this Pandemic.

I am looking to you to decide what is best because you have helped keep them all safe so far. My grandma is my best friend and my best person. I can hardly wait to see her…but not if there is too much risk to her or anyone else. I am on board with whatever you come up with. I was so scared when my grandma was going to be put into a home. Hearing the horror stories that one does. But I have found such faith in you all at Menno Home for doing the right thing and being wonderful amazing caregivers to our seniors. My grandma always has nice things to say about it all. Thank you for your dedication.

Thanks for everything you have done to keep the patients at Menno safe during these difficult times!

Thank you for all you do.

I have total faith as to how you decide to open for visits. Thank you all for everything you have done.

I am heartily happy for all health personnel of Menno Home that they are taking care and supporting my wife.

I trust this opening up will be positive and safe for all. If rules can be followed and we all can cooperate it shouldn’t be any more risky than workers coming and going. I do appreciate what Menno has done to keep residents safe in this crazy time. Our thanks to all of you. THANK YOU from all of Dorothy’s family.

We really appreciate the caution that Menno staff have, and are, taking, to ensure that our loved ones remain healthy. It must be so hard to see all these seniors who are longing to be with their families and especially those whose cognitive abilities don’t allow them to understand very much about the current reality of the world we live in.

We really appreciate the caution that Menno staff have, and are, taking, to ensure that our loved ones remain healthy. It must be so hard to see all these seniors who are longing to be with their families and especially those whose cognitive abilities don’t allow them to understand very much about the current reality of the world we live in. I do want to see my Dad but more because I know he wants/needs to see us – in my mind, I just want to do my part to keep him and everyone else including staff, safe and if that would mean staying away longer, I would. That being said, the Zoom calls have been an absolutely HUGE blessing for all of us. To see his face and talk about what we are up to and to see him in his room where he lives, has been what has kept me feeling like I know how he is and how he is doing. If we did not have that option of connecting I would have totally lost my mind, so thank you for the “above and beyond” that all staff at Menno have demonstrated to make that possible. I have not had ONE moment of fear during this lock down because I know that he is living in the best place possible. And if despite all the hard work, COVID would have entered (or may still but hoping not!) I would still feel the same. Because I would know that everything humanly possible was done to prevent it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

We are very grateful for everything that Menno has done for my mum and the residents there…staff have been prompt, courteous and compassionate throughout and always trying to maintain safety.

I very much appreciate the thoughtfulness and perception which is threaded through this survey. It causes families to examine underlying fears, not only in regards to our own loved ones, but also by extension, the community of which they are a part… which adds a significant degree of complexity to answering the survey questions!… Some of the Q are difficult in ethical ways … does the importance of our visit outweigh the safety risk? The risk is not only to our loved one, but again, by extension, to the community as a whole. That is a responsibility I am uncomfortable with. I would not want to visit if my presence at Menno brought risk to my mother or the other residents… though I agree that visits always bring some risk, even in non-covid times. My initial assumption was that opening visits to Menno meant that there was no longer risk due to current information and careful practice … but the survey reminds me that there will always be some degree of risk with contact. Again, I thank you for the care that you take of our mother. This survey underlines how thoughtfully and systematically you undertake to proceed to the next step. Our prayers are with you.

I thank you all for your hard work, in keeping everyone safe and healthy through these difficult times. God’s strength to you all as you manage and try to figure this all out!

Excited to see Mom again. Thank you for all you do to take care of my Mom!! God Bless

Thank you for working towards visits AND for continuing with protective measures.

I am confident you Menno will take the necessary precautions to ensure Menno residents safety when visitors are permitted.

I am very worried about things opening up. Obviously, i want to see my mom every day but I also don’t want to be selfish if it could affect the health of anyone, staff or resident. My mom is pretty far gone in her own world so I am not even sure a visit with social distancing would be plausible. I miss her more than words but also want everyone safe. My bubble is very small and I have purposely kept it that way.

You have done a terrific job so far keeping everyone safe. I’m sure the visiting protocols you put in place for visiting will ensure the safety of everyone involved.

I am willing to be tested, have my temperature taken and be tracked. I have kept my circle and social contacts limited; I will continue to do that…seeing my loved one is my priority. How fortunate we are to have summer upon us…the gardens at Menno are wonderful for social distancing and for our visits.

Menno Place has been so successful in keeping Covid out, I would not want to jeopardize any residents by having visitors, if it poses any risk. You are all wonderful.

I truly appreciate the careful consideration that the Menno Group have used as we have gone through this pandemic.

As tough as it has been, I feel Menno has done the right thing by locking down early, and remaining locked down. I look forward to seeing wife after such a long time, but as I indicated above, I am concerned that there is definitely a risk involved.

I’m happy to know I will be able to visit my Mom, but with opening everything I feel very concerned about my Mom contract covid 19 if we open too soon it just take one person not to follow the rules

Current restrictions have been successful in preventing spread of this virus of which I have been most impressed & satisfied to comply with. For this I am grateful.

Thank you to all the staff who have taken care of my parents during this challenging time. I felt confident that they were in good hands! Appreciate all the sacrifices and work they’ve done!

Thank you for taking such good care of all the residents during this time!

I understand the risk and am very grateful for all you have done to keep my loved one and all others safe during this lock down. I am willing to abide to your plan as it unfolds so long as if my loved ones is close to passing that we can come to be with him.


Donations for you to pick up – follow the instructions! Clorox Bleach & Tena Moisturizer

Menno Place Team,

Thank you to Clorox, BC Care Providers and Iron Mountain who have donated hundreds of gallon bottles of bleach for frontline workers to use to keep themselves safe from coronavirus. The bleach bottles will be available for staff to take (one per staff member) following the schedule below. Home and Hospital staff will find the bottles in the Hospital Chapel. Apartments staff will find the bottles in Terrace East and Primrose Gardens dining rooms. Hand moisturizer has been donated by Tena. Please take one per staff member – first come, first served.

When you go to get your donated gallon of bleach and habd moisturizer, follow these infection control protocols:

  1. Pick up at the end of your shift only
  2. Do not travel through any resident space to get to the Hospital Chapel
  3. Don’t touch anything in the chapel except for the bleach bottles and hand moisturizer tube
  4. Be QUIET! There is Livestream programming going on in the Hospital chapel
  5. Exit via the ramp to the parking lots on Brundige Ave.
  6. Exit through the courtyard to the parking lots along Marshall Rd.
  7. Leave with your gallon of bleach and moisturizer – thank you, Clorox and Tena!

On the dates in italics, you may return to the location to get a 2nd gallon of bleach if any remain. The goal is that all gallons of bleach will be taken by the end of the day, July 9th.

Menno Hospital Staff

Location of Bleach and Moisturizer – Hospital Chapel – marked for Hospital

Days to get your gallon of bleach

Tuesday, June 30

Wednesday, July 1

Monday, July 6

Tuesday, July 7


Menno Home Staff

Location of Bleach and Moisturizer – Hospital Chapel – marked for Home

Days to get your gallon of bleach

Friday, July 3

Saturday, July 4

Thursday, July 8

Friday, July 9


Apartments Staff

Location of Bleach and Moisturizer – TE Dining and PG Dining – marked for Apartments

Days to get your gallon of bleach

Monday, July 6

Tuesday, July 7

Wednesday, July 8

Thursday, July 9


MBS Staff

Pick the location closest to you (and its dates) to pick up your bottle of bleach and Moisturizer.

Visits in Long Term Care and Assisted Living – June 30, 2020


Today, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that, in the near future, one designated visitor will be allowed to visit safely with residents in long term care homes and assisted living apartments. She asked long term care homes to exercise caution and thoughtfulness to minimize risk to the residents and staff as they develop a safety plan for visits in the coming weeks.

Menno Home, Menno Hospital and Terrace East Assisted Living currently operate under the orders of Mark Lavoie, Fraser Health Medical Health Officer. The orders for essential visitors have not, yet, been changed. At this time, there are no changes to visiting at Menno Home, Menno Hospital or Terrace East Assisted Living as we await specific instructions and information from the Public Health Officer to guide us in the plans to open up visiting in long-term care and assisted living.

In today’s media update, Adrian Dix, BC’s Minister of Health announced funding for up to three full-time staff per care home/assisted living apartment to assist with the logistics of booking, cleaning and transporting residents to a safe space for visits. This will be essential for Menno Place as we anticipate 443 designated visitors booking visits with their loved ones once we open.

As it has been 100 days since the visitor lockdown began, we understand how difficult it has been for family members to be separated during this time. Visitors will prepare themselves for a different way of visiting when these visits are opened up. There will be active screening questions prior to visiting, along with donning personal protective equipment as well as social distancing. Visits will take place in a cleaned and safe location.


  1. When will visits start? We do not have a start date. We are waiting for information from the Public Health Officer and new orders from the Fraser Health Medical Health officer
  2. Who will arrange the visits? We are waiting to hear the details of the media announcement that we may receive funding for up to three full-time staff in Menno Home, Menno Hospital and Terrace East Assisted Living. This will make the visits for 443 residents logistically possible.

How will staff be kept safe? There will be one designated visitor per resident. This visitor will comply with all infection prevention protocols. They will visit in a specific room (not yet determined) with plexiglass separating them from the resident. They will don PPE. They will not be allowed to touch each other. The visitation room will be disinfected between visits. All visits will be pre-booked

Congratulations from our MBS Board Chair, Arnie Friesen

I’d like to pass on my sincere congratulations to the five Menno Place teams for their heroic efforts and sacrificial service especially during the challenges of the pandemic. Once again, Menno Place has set the bar for excellence in senior care.

Well-deserved recognition in the Abbotsford News!

Arnie Friesen

MBS Board Chair

Congratulations to our CEO, Karen L. Biggs on her marriage to Peter Biggs

Our CEO, Karen L. Baillie (now Biggs) was married to Peter Biggs on Saturday, June 13th in a riverside socially distanced wedding. We wish her well in her marriage!

Here’s to Karen and Peter Biggs! May they enjoy many happy years of love and joy together!


Menno Place Team Challenge from W2 Hospital – are you game?

Watch this amazing video made by the W2 Hospital team – they are challenging teams across our campus to respond with a video of their own!

Did you watch to the end – the outtakes?!!! If they can do it, so can YOU! All videos will be posted to the MennoPlaceStaff.com website and shown at the Team Appreciation Tea!

Deadline to submit your finished video: July 31, 2020.

Create your own team inspirational sing-along / lip-sync video. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Pick a team leader to organize.
  2. Menno Place will provide a tablet for you to make your video (email Sharon.Simpson@MennoPlace.ca)
  3. Only video the team members who sign the Video Permissions form PRIOR to filming – CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD Permissions Form
  4. There can’t be any residents in the video.
  5. If you upload to a server (Dropbox or Editing Software), download the finished product and delete from external server.
  6. Be aware of the background and ensure that you are not filming anything confidential (bulletin or whiteboards) or anything that doesn’t reflect well on Menno Place (like a messy area).
  7. Pick an inspiring song and GO FOR IT!
  8. Provide the complete list of permission forms – one per person in the video – (signed and dated) to Sharon.Simpson@MennoPlace.ca
  9. Provide the finished (edited) video to Sharon.Simpson@MennoPlace.ca – you can give it to Sharon on USB flash drive or via Dropbox or Google Drive link.

Mental Health Check-In

Now, more than ever, it is good to take a moment, with some deep breaths, and check in on your mental health.

How do you feel during these last few months? 

The Menno Place Health & Wellness Committee encourage all staff to use the tool below to help you take a look at your mental health and wellness in light of COVID-19.

The Canadian Mental Health Association has created this questionnaire to get you to quickly reflect on a few areas of your mental, physical and social well-being. In a dozen questions, they’ll ask you about sleep and eating, stress, mood and worry, substance use, social support, and thoughts of harming yourself. The check-in is anonymous and there is no right or wrong answer. The check-in is not a clinical test or one that will give you a score. You must talk to a health professional to receive a diagnosis. It’s a tool to help you identify and explore useful and free resources in BC based on your answers. If you think you might have a mental illness, it’s best to talk with a mental health professional.