Changes are afoot at Castor’s picturesque Paintearth Lodge, on the north end of town. Kevin J. Sabo photo

Changes are afoot at Castor’s picturesque Paintearth Lodge, on the north end of town. Kevin J. Sabo photo

Changes are happening at Paintearth Lodge as pandemic fades

‘Our residents mean the world to us. We’ve kept them safe’

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

Restrictions are loosening up, and things are changing at Castor’s Paintearth Lodge.

First the restrictions. After more than a year with very stringent restrictions in the facility to protect the vulnerable seniors, the restrictions are starting to ease some according to Paintearth Lodge Manager Trudy Kilner.

“The restrictions have changed,” said Kilner.

“Residents are now allowed four designated visitors into their rooms.”

In the larger rooms, all four visitors are able to come in at one time, provided social distancing requirements and masking are maintained. For residents in smaller rooms, who are not able to spread out as much, the facility has set up a visitor room where residents and their guests can visit and have a meal.

When weather is favourable, there is also an area set up on the back patio for visiting.

“To me, that makes more sense to use that as a designated (visiting space) because there is more room,” said Kilner.

Kilner commented that lodge residents are now able to sign themselves out of the facility, and run errands downtown or spend time with family. But while they have been out, they have been taking precautions.

“They are going out and about. They’ve been masking and hand sanitizing,” said Kilner. According to Kilner, what the residents and staff have been doing has been working.

“It goes to show because we haven’t had COVID. It’s a different time though. (The restrictions) change all the time, but it is getting better.”

Another change to do with visitors pertains to the outdoors.

“Outside, residents can have 10 social visitors,” said Kilner.

“That number is including the resident.”

Other changes at the facility are more physical in nature. Construction was recently started on converting four single-person suites into two medium-sized suites, with construction expected to be complete by September.

In addition to the room construction, the outside will also be getting some work done with a 14 ft. by 18 ft. gazebo being constructed on the property on the side that borders Theresetta Catholic School, near the existing patio.

“When things open up and we have a band, the band can be on the deck, and the residents can be in the gazebo,” said Kilner.

The facility does currently have empty rooms, and they are hoping the work can entice some new people to move in.

Kilner also noted, that unless a new resident is coming from a COVID-19 hotspot, that new residents do not need to quarantine in their rooms as was previously required.

Kilner encourages anyone considering moving into the lodge to contact the facility, and consider trying it for a few days, just to see what it is like.

She also noted that if someone signs on, if they pay for two months, they will get a third one free.

“Our residents mean the world to us. We’ve kept them safe.”

Kilner attributes the success of the facility dealing with COVID-19 to the staff.

“I just want people to understand the staff…our staff here has given up so much to keep our residents safe,” said Kilner.

“They work so hard and they love the residents. They need to be recognized.”