Hospital transfer workers are seen outside the Lynn Valley Centre care home in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C. will ‘have to find a way’ for families to visit seniors in longterm care: advocate

There are currently 19 outbreaks at care homes in B.C.

The province will need to work on a plan for families to visit their loved ones in longterm care during the COVID-19 pandemic, Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie said Sunday (April 26).

Visitors have been advised to stay away, and largely banned, since provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry issued guidance on March 20. Henry asked all assisted living facilities to allow “essential visits only,” which has led to a stoppage of family visits.

Hundreds of staff and seniors at longterm care facilities have been infected with the virus, leading to many of B.C.’s 100 deaths. There are currently outbreaks at 19 facilities, with outbreaks at a further 10 homes being declared over. Speaking last week, Henry said seniors in longterm care are offered the “full spectrum of care,” but most do not opt for hospitalization when they get the virus.

On Sunday, Mackenzie said spouses and children must be able to see their loved ones in longterm care. She said that amid B.C.’s “new normal,” the assisted living sector will need to figure out “some form of visits from family members,” before a vaccine is developed – which could be as much as a year away.

She noted that Henry’s guidance did specifically allow for some visits, including for compassionate and palliative care, and to assist with feeding and mobility.

“I am going to be communicating to the care homes to carefully look at that language and make accommodations where they can.”

Mackenzie acknowledged the visits will be highly restricted and may not be possible at all facilities.

“If there is an active outbreak of COVID-19 in the care home that makes it more difficult,” she said.

“People going a year or more without seeing their spouse… is tragic.”

Mackenzie said family members not only support their loved one in the care home but also to be the “eyes that see and the ears that hear” to ensure care is up to standards.

READ MORE: ‘You are not alone’: B.C. pledges $500K to help family caregivers amid COVID-19 pandemic

READ MORE: B.C. care home site of virus recovery study, Bonnie Henry says

READ MORE: B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusSeniors

Just Posted

Métis communities make do with minimal financial aid from Trudeau; CBT offers support

Métis citizens in valley forged ahead thanks to support from local leadership and community groups

Pedestrian-only main street?

A car-free, pedestrian-only main street in downtown Invermere could be a possibility this summer.

Radium’s beloved bighorn sheep herd on the decline

Advocates say safer streets needed

Flood evacuation in Fairmont; residents able to return home

Evacuation alerts remain in place for Fairmont Creek and Cold Spring Creek.

Copper Point Golf Course copes with COVID-19 safety measures

General manager says golf is one of few sports where implementing safety measures is fairly simple

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Nelson counsellor works online with university students in central Asia during pandemic

Robin Higgins is home from her job in Tajikistan because of COVID-19

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Angel Flight takes flight from Creston after being grounded by COVID-19

Angel Flight is a volunteer-run organization which gives people flights to doctors appointments

Most Read