Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care

Our visiting guidelines have expanded. View our essential caregiver and visitor presence information. 

All visitors and essential caregivers are screened prior to entry. Please review screening entry directions and our COVID-19 information.

Our rich history of care

Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care can trace its rich history of caring back to 1869 when the Sisters of St. Joseph founded the original Mount Hope. Today, the Centre (formerly St. Mary’s and Marian Villa) is a 394-bed home with residents representing a variety of cultures, beliefs, and ages. While creating a home-like environment, Mount Hope is known for providing comprehensive long term care. There is a personalized program for each resident, encouraging participation in varied activities such as art therapy, gardening, local trips and sports activities.

Due to direction from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care regarding ward rooms and resident capacity, our home is currently operating with a 375 bed capacity.

Philosophy of care

The philosophy of care is centered on the needs of the individual and focused on enhancing independence, choice and personal wellness for the residents who live at Mount Hope. Interdisciplinary teams work with residents to promote both individual well-being and positive group dynamics in this shared living environment.

Mount Hope's philosophy of care is built on the following principles:

  • resident-focused care: emphasizing privacy and maximizing resident independence and choice;
  • creating a home-like environment;
  • providing opportunities for residents to enjoy activities they engaged in prior to moving to Mount Hope;
  • encouraging residents to enjoy the out-of-doors and be involved in the communityAnchor

Visitor PolicyAnchor

Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care is responsible for supporting residents to safely receive visitors while mitigating the risk of exposure to COVID-19.  Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care will balance the need to promote safety and mitigate risks to residents, staff and visitors, with the mental, physical and spiritual needs of residents for their overall quality of life. 

This policy was created with reference to the Guiding Principles (Appendix B) and provides guidance on facilitating access to essential caregivers as partners in care.

Essential caregivers are welcome at any time during the day. Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 7 am to promote a restful environment for the residents' well-being. Essential caregivers can consult with the resident care team for visiting arrangements outside of the daytime hours.

The leadership team is responsible for outlining the specifics for essential caregiver presence based on the needs of the resident, space, and types of services being offered.

All caregivers and visitors, regardless of their vaccination status must keep their mask on at all times and cannot eat or drink in the presence of resident and others while in the home.  Children 2 and under are not required to wear a mask. 

Visitors should consider their personal health and susceptibility to the virus in determining whether visiting the home is appropriate.

Purpose of policy

Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care provides staff and families direction on visitor policies, and additional requirements that are required during the COVID-19 pandemic.  These additional requirements are in accordance with current legislation, regulations, standards and best practice guidelines. Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care is responsible for establishing and implementing visiting practices that comply with the COVID-19 guidance document for long-term care homes (Appendix A - Consideration for designated essential caregiver). During the COVID-19 pandemic any restrictions to family, caregiver and visitor presence in accordance with government directives.

Visiting procedure

At Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care, families are care partners and play an important role in resident wellbeing, including through the social connections and emotional support that are crucial for optimal quality of life.  

The options and responsibilities relating to each component of the Visitor Policy during the COVID pandemic are outlined below. These include social visits (virtual, indoor/outdoor, General visitors and care visits (support workers, caregivers, and essential visitors).

General visitors younger than 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult and must follow all applicable public health measures that are in place at the home (for example, active screening, physical distancing, hand hygiene, masking for source control).

Outdoor/indoor general visitors will be provided with instructions at screening and/or through the Essential Caregiver COVID-19 Guidelines and Education Requirements (Appendix C) around requirements for the visit, PPE, and hand hygiene. The screener will document the active screening.

1. Outdoor visits
  • Masking is encouraged when outdoors for staff, residents, students, volunteers, or visitors as an added layer of protection against COVID-19.
  • There are no limits on the number of visitors permitted at outdoor visits. 
  • Outdoor visits may continue regardless of vaccination status.
  • Physical distancing (a minimum of two metres or six feet) must be maintained between outdoor groups.
  • Outdoor visitors are required to pass active screening upon arrival.
  • Rapid testing prior to the visit is not required.
  • Physical distancing with the resident and visitor(s) is not required.
2. Indoor visits
  • AnchorAll staff and visitors are required to wear a well-fitted medical mask, provided by the Home for the entire duration of their shift/visit, while indoors, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status. These requirements also apply regardless of whether the home is in an outbreak or not. Children 2 and under are not required to wear a mask.
  • Indoor visitors are limited to four general visitors and/or caregivers per resident. 
  • Indoor visitors are required to pass active screening.
  • Vaccinated indoor general visitors entering Mount Hope Centre for Long-Term Care must demonstrate that they have received a negative Antigen Test on the day of the visit or demonstrate proof that they have received a negative Antigen Test from the previous day, prior to being permitted entry to the home.
  • All general visitors regardless of vaccination status, are required to wait while the antigen test processes and yield a negative result prior to gaining entry to the home.
  • Designated essential caregivers and general visitors who are not vaccinated or have not provided proof of vaccination will be required to:
    • Undertake daily rapid testing.
    • Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and restrict visits to resident rooms or outdoors.
    • If an unvaccinated essential caregiver or general visitor wish to visit the outdoor courtyard masking would be required as this area is accessed by other residents and families frequently.
    • If a general visitor is entering the home to visit with a resident who is very ill or is palliative, they will not be subject to testing in the event of an emergency. If not an emergency, palliative visitors will be required to participate in Rapid Antigen Testing to reduce the risk to the Home.
    • Physical distancing with the resident and visitor(s) is not required.
  • Physical distancing with the resident and visitor(s) is not required.
3. Restrictions during outbreaks or when resident is isolating
  • ​​​​In the case where a resident is symptomatic or isolating under droplet and contact precautions, only one essential caregiver may visit at a time and no general visitors are permitted.
  • In the case where a resident resides in an area of a home that is in an outbreak, as declared by the local public health unit, no general visitors are permitted.
  • In the case where Public Health Ontario, Middlesex-London Heath Unit or St. Joseph’s Infection Control directs the home in respect to the number of visitors allowed, the home is to follow this direction.
  • Essential visitors are the only type of visitors allowed when there is an outbreak in a home or area of a home or when a resident has failed screening, is symptomatic or in isolation.
  • A caregiver may not visit any other resident or home for 10 days after visiting:
    • an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19
    • an individual experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Recognizing there are caregivers who want to volunteer to support more than one resident, in the event of an outbreak:
    • Essential Caregivers may support up to two residents who are COVID-19 positive, provided the home obtains consent from all involved residents (or their substitute decision makers).  
    • In the case where Public Health Ontario, Middlesex-London Heath Unit or St. Joseph’s Infection Control directs the home in respect to the number of visitors allowed, the home is to follow this direction.
    • In non-outbreak areas, Essential Caregivers may support more than one resident with the same expectation regarding resident consent. 
  • With the exception of virtual visits, which can continue, general visitors will not be permitted during an outbreak.  Indoor and outdoor visits will be paused and rescheduled once the outbreak has been declared over and the ministry of long-term care and public health provides direction on safely resuming social visits within the home.
  • Please note: If Mount Hope declares a COVID-19 outbreak, unvaccinated caregivers or visitors will not be permitted entry into the affected home area unless the resident is actively receiving end of life care or at the direction of local public health officials.
4. Designating a caregiver
  • The decision to designate an individual as a caregiver is the responsibility of the resident or their substitute decision-maker, not the home. The designation of a caregiver should be made in writing to the home.

  • Caregivers must be designated and must be at least 16 years of age.  

  • If there is a request to designate an individual as a caregiver under the age of 16, approval from a parent or legal guardian is required.   

  • There are no limits on the number of designated essential caregivers a resident may have.  

  • Only one caregiver may visit a resident who is isolating or in situations where a home or area of a home is in outbreak. 

  • Note: During an outbreak, and/or suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, Public Health Ontario, Middlesex-London Health Unit, and/ or St. Joseph’s Infection Control will provide direction on essential caregiver within the home, depending on the specific situation. 

  • A resident and/or their substitute decision-maker may change a designation in response to a change in the:  
    • Resident’s care needs that is reflected in the plan of care. 
    • Availability of a designated caregiver, either temporary (for example, illness) or permanent.  
    • A resident and/or their substitute decision-maker may not continuously change a designation in order to increase the number of people able to enter the home.  
    • Only one caregiver may visit a resident who is isolating or in situations where a home or area of a home is in outbreak. 
    • Homes should have a procedure for documenting caregiver designations.  
    • All required education and Infection Prevention and Control education is required to maintain caregiver status. 
    • Essential Caregivers or general visitors must wear an approved badge/ sticker while on site for visual management and indication that screening has been completed as applicable.  
5. Caregivers - scheduling and length and frequency of visits
  • Homes may not require scheduling or restrict the length or frequency of visits by caregivers. However, in the case where a resident resides in an area of the home in outbreak, is symptomatic or isolating under additional precautions, restrictions may apply. Refer to section 3 "Restrictions during outbreaks or when resident is isolating."
6. Process to become a Designated Essential Caregiver
  • Refer to the Designated Essential Caregiver Program Information package 
  • COVID-19 Immunization Requirements: 

    • All individuals entering Mount Hope, including residents, staff, caregivers and visitors, are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated and stay up-to-date with all recommended COVID-19 doses. Staying up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, including any booster dose(s) when eligible. 

    • Designated essential caregivers and general visitors who are not vaccinated or have not provided proof of vaccination will be required to follow the requirements outlined for indoor visits 

  • Mount Hope Centre for Long-Term Care will continue to evaluate, monitor and adjust measures in place based on direction and in consultation with Public Health Ontario, Middlesex-London Health Unit, and/ or St. Joseph’s Infection Control.
7. Documentation requirements
  • Visitor logs will be maintained and this information retained for at least 30 days to facilitate contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 exposure or an outbreak. At minimum, visitor logs collect:
    • the name and contact information of the visitor
    • date and time of the visit
    • the name of the resident visited
8. Essential visitors’ program for acute illness or end of life
  • To ensure our residents have access to the support of their family at all times during times of acute illness or end of life, the Essential visitors’ program was developed and will be initiated by the nursing department if the resident has been clinically assessed as critically ill or at end of life. It will be offered to the family of the resident through the substitute decision maker. 
9. Failed screening
  • There is one exception where visitors who fail screening may be permitted entry to a long-term care home:
    • Visitors for residents who are imminently palliative must be screened prior to entry. If they fail screening, they must be permitted entry but homes must ensure that they wear a medical (surgical or procedural) mask and maintain physical distance from other residents and staff.
    • Must participate in the PPE requirements of the resident/ or resident room - at minimum universal medical mask at all times while in the Home.
       
10. Visitor expectations
  • Follow established infection control measures including continuously wearing the provided personal protective equipment (PPE), performing hand hygiene as directed, practicing safe physical distancing from other residents and staff, and respiratory etiquette (coughing and sneezing safely).
  • Prior to designation as an essential caregiver, it will be mandatory for all caregivers to complete educational training on the following: 
    • Infection Control practices, physical distancing, PPE use, respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene, etc. 
    • Read, understand and agree to the Caregiver Program Guidelines.  
  • Stay home if they are feeling unwell, have COVID-19 symptoms or exposure to someone who has COVID-19 and inform the resident’s care team immediately if symptoms develop during or following a visit.  
11. Responding to non-adherence by visitors
  • The home will provide ongoing strategies and communication related to understanding and adhering to the home’s visitor policy.  
  • If a visitor is observed to be non-compliant with policy during a visit, the visitors will be approached by a staff member and expectations communicated, e.g. wearing PPE properly.
  • Education and coaching will be provided to explain the rationale and consequences to the resident/ staff/visitor as a result of the action.
  • If the violation is severe or ongoing, visits will be temporarily suspended and a meeting/ teleconference will be scheduled to discuss the concern.
  • Re-education will be required by the visitor prior to any visits resuming in an effort to protect residents, staff and visitors in the home from the risk of COVID-19. 
  • If necessary, consultation with Residents’ Council and Family Council representatives will occur for input on addressing non-adherence by visitors while respecting privacy.
12. Ending a visit
  • The home has the discretion to end a visit by any visitor who repeatedly fails to adhere to the home’s visitor policy provided:
    • The home has explained the applicable requirement(s) to the visitor;
    • The visitor has the resources to adhere to the requirement(s) (e.g., there is sufficient space to physically distance, the home has supplied the PPE and demonstrated how to correctly put on PPE, etc.); and
    • The visitor has been given sufficient time to adhere to the requirements.
  • Homes should document where they have ended a visit due to non-adherence.  
13. Temporarily prohibiting a visitor
  • Homes have the discretion to temporarily prohibit a visitor in response to repeated and flagrant non-adherence with the home’s visitor policy. In exercising this discretion, homes should consider whether the non-adherence: 
    • Can be resolved successfully by explaining and demonstrating how the visitor can adhere to the requirements. 
    • Is within requirements that align with instruction from the Ministry of Long-Term Care and guidance in this policy and negatively impacts the health and safety of residents, staff and other visitors in the home. 
    • Is demonstrated continuously by the visitor over multiple visits. 
    • Is by a visitor whose previous visits have been ended by the home. 
  • Any decision to temporarily prohibit a visitor should: 
    • Be made only after all other reasonable efforts to maintain safety during visits have been exhausted; 
    • Stipulate a reasonable length of the prohibition; 
    • Clearly identify what requirements the visitor should meet before visits may be resumed (e.g., reviewing the home’s visitor policy, reviewing specific Public Health Ontario resources, etc.) and 
    • Be documented by the home. 
    • Where the home has temporarily prohibited visits, a caregiver, the resident and/or their substitute decision-maker may need to designate an alternate individual as caregiver to help meet the resident’s care needs.
14. Appeal process for residents, families and caregivers
  • In the event that a resident, and/or substitute decision maker, and/or caregiver disagree with a determination of the clinical team’s decision to remove or decline access the following process will be followed: 
    • Resident, SDM or caregiver to submit a written letter outlining the disagreement to a decision to any member of the leadership team or Patient Relations, Privacy and Risk who will provide guidance.
    • The notice will go to the Executive Director to review the details of the concern and make every attempt to rectify the concern. The Executive Director may include the Medical Director, Family Council representative, Resident Council representative as resources to support solution finding and decision making. 
    • If no resolution is found, the Vice President, Patient Care & Risk Management of St. Joseph’s Health Care London, will make the final determination regarding the concern and communicate to all the parties involved.

Review our Essential Caregiver and Visitor Presence information.

Emergency Preparedness Plans

We have emergency plans in place that comply with regulatory requirements at St. Joseph’s Health Care London which includes Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care. This includes measures for preparing and managing emergencies such as pandemics, and procedures for evacuation and relocation of residents and staff in the event of an emergency.

View our Emergency Preparedness resources.

Air Conditioning

Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care is fully air conditioned in the St. Mary’s building. The Marian Villa building has some fully air conditioned resident rooms, and designated cooling areas are available during extreme heat conditions. Mount Hope is currently in the process of installing air conditioning in all resident rooms as a priority. More information is available upon request. 

Continuous Quality Improvement Initiative

Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care values and strives for continuous quality improvement. Our team works collaboratively with residents, families and caregivers to improve our quality of care and services for those we serve.

View our Continuous Quality Initiative Report - Interim

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Personal information is collected under the authority of the Public Hospitals Act R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER P.40 for the purpose of contacting the sender in response to an inquiry. If you have questions about the collection of this information, please contact a Privacy and Freedom of Information Consultant, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care, 21 Grosvenor Street, Room WB31, London Ontario, N6A 1Y6. Phone: 519-646-6100 ext. 64545.