Grief & Healing
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March 27, 2020 -- The Province of Alberta has further restricted the number of people allowed to gather, from 50 people, to no more than 15 people. This includes funerals.
Park Memorial is still here to serve you and we are available 7 days/week. We will be proceeding with small visitations and funerals comprised of no more than 15 people at one time. Physical distancing must remain in practice in order to keep the families we serve safe, as well as our own staff.
We continue to offer families the option to record the funeral whereby they can choose to privately share the recording with whom they choose. Park Memorial can also livestream the funeral for families, whereby extended family and friends who are not able to attend, may watch the service live.
We understand this creates further complications for famiies who want to gather together to express their grief over the loss of a loved one. We will be diligently working with you, our families, to determine the ways in which we can best make this work for you.
Vice President and Owner
March 17, 2020 --- The province of Alberta has declared a Public Health Emergency as of 2pm today. Under the new rules, and EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, any gathering of more than 50 people must be cancelled immediately. This includes funerals.
Therefore, effective immediately, we can only allow 50 quests to be in attendance for funeral services whether in our facilities or elsewhere, which includes family members. As well, we will be unable to host any receptions in our Reception Centre for the forseeable future.
We are now required to use “social distancing” for people in our facilities and elsewhere. The provincial gathering restrictions now also apply to places of worship. Before we arrange services in a church, we will be required to confer with them as some are still allowing small gatherings or 50 or less to take place. Others are not.
If you require assistance in planning a funeral, our funeral directors will walk through the various things we can do to assist, such as planning a private funeral by invitation only, and webcasting / live streaming the service to others, and/or making a recording of the funeral.
We remain committed to being able to provide services to our families who are experiencing a loss. We also want to reassure you that we have a number of ways to communicate, share information and provide services to you. Should you find it more convenient or preferable to reach us via phone, email, text messaging, or through Facetime, Skype or other online video application, we will do our best to help meet your needs. Please call us for more info at 780-426-0050.
March 13, 2020 --- The health, safety and well-being of our families, funeral attendees and staff are our first priority. As COVID-19 concerns increase in Alberta, we want to assure you that Park Memorial is taking proactive measures to help prevent the spread of any potential illness.
We have been closely monitoring and receiving critical information from Alberta Health Services (AHS), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Centre for Disease Control (CDC), as well as National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), Funeral Service Association of Canada (FSAC), Alberta Funeral Service Association (AFSA), and other relevant agencies in order to ensure we are kept aware of and aligned with best practices.
Park Memorial is continuing to thoroughly clean and disinfect our buildings using industry-approved health care grade products. In addition to the standard funeral home cleaning and disinfecting, we have taken additional measures to pay particular attention to all high-touch surfaces within the funeral home. Our Edmonton office is equipped with fresh air fans to bring fresh air circulating into the building. We have also purchased IQAir filters that use HyperHEPA, which is effective against particles 100x smaller than what ordinary filters can stop. They also have a virus and bacterial removal efficiency of greater than 99.5 percent. Additional units will be added in the coming week.
We have also increased our hand sanitizer placement around the funeral home for use by families and funeral attendees, each staff member is being provided their own pocket hand sanitizer, and staff members are being reminded about frequent hand washing.
Park Memorial wants to reassure families that we are here to assist them in caring for their loved ones and we will continue to arrange funeral services during these uncertain times. Funerals help us process our most profound thoughts and feelings, while making a significant difference in helping us channel our grief toward healing.
On March 12th, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced that Alberta is asking organizers to cancel any events that have more than 250 attendees, and to limit gatherings to only 50 people if that group will include seniors.
In consultation with various agencies and carefully considering Dr. Hinshaw’s announcement, Park Memorial wants to reassure families that we will currently continue to provide the opportunity to gather and remember a loved one and proceed with funeral services as we know this is an important step in the healing process.
Going forward, this means that we will be thoughtfully discussing funeral planning with each family to determine their needs, while also working to protect the health, safety and well-being of all involved.
All funeral arrangements can be made via telephone and email should a family not be able to visit us in person. We have taken steps to limit the number of family members who physically come in to make arrangements. We are asking additional questions of families about their own health and the health of their deceased loved one. And this may also mean that some funerals must be limited to small numbers or become private events. We will also work to apply social distancing, with regard to seating at funerals, as best we can. Some families may also choose to proceed with burial or cremation now and to hold a gathering at a later date.
Our own caterer is adhering to strict Alberta Health and Public Health Act regulations and codes in preparing food for our receptions. We are also restricting food that families can bring into our Reception Centre to only food from caterers who prepare food in an authorized, commercial kitchen. This catered food must be delivered directly to Park Memorial so that food handling is kept to a minimum.
We are also providing the option to families to videotape or livestream from our funeral homes so that those family or friends at home are still able to view the service.
From what we know, public health risk associated with COVID–19 is still considered to be low for Canada. To date, there are no known cases where the virus has been transmitted from one person to another at a funeral home, or from a deceased body.
However, should you be feeling ill at all, are immune-compromised or live with someone who may be, we encourage you at this time to think about staying home and expressing your condolences in other ways.
We know that things are changing on a daily basis, and we will provide you with up to date information as it becomes available. Please keep in mind that our recommendations and policies around COVID-19 safety may continue to evolve as the situation changes locally.
Park Memorial will work to continue being a pillar of comfort and compassion in our community as we all move through this sensitive and uncertain time together. We are committed to providing our bereaved families and grieving communities a safe, healthy, professional and compassionate environment to honour their loved ones, while also keeping our own family of staff, and others, safe.
Vice President and Owner
Park Memorial Funeral Home
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