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Long-term Care and Assisted Living

Long-term Care and Assisted Living

The health and well-being of persons in care, staff, and visitors is our priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.  To ensure everyone’s safety and well-being, our Long-term Care and Assisted Living facilities have implemented multiple enhanced safety measures.

Visiting Limitations and Requirements for Connecting with Loved Ones

On June 30, 2020, Ministry of Health and Provincial Health Officer announced that we will be moving towards allowing visitations at long-term care homes and seniors’ assisted living facilities. Under these guidelines, residents will be able to visit with one family member or friend. The guidelines support visits between family members and residents of these facilities while protecting vulnerable residents. 

As of mid-July, and as sites have put their safety plans in place, we will begin allowing one designated social visitor with each resident.

Please visit our Visitor Information section to learn more.

Essential visits can include, but are not limited to, providing:

  • Compassionate care such as for support during critical illness, end of life care, and/or;
  • Visits essential to meeting the person’s care and well-being needs:
  • Supporting a person with disabilities and/or cognitive impairment for communication and decision-making,  and/or
  • Assistance with feeding, mobility or emotional/behavioural needs;
  • Essential visitors need an exemption under licencing, only one person will be granted the exemption.
  • Families may contact the facility to discuss if your loved one qualifies for an essential visit.

End of life visitors:

End of life visitors do not need an exemption as long as the Most Responsible Physician (MRP) designates them as end of life. There is not a specified a cap in the number of people who can visit a person in care at their end of life

What other ways can I connect with my loved one?

All families are encouraged to stay in contact by phone, or by virtual means. Please talk to site leadership to see how they can support you to stay connected.

Can I drop off items for my loved one?

Visitors can bring a reasonable number of gifts, personal items, care packages, clothing and food items that are essential or necessary to the well-being of their loved one. These items will be cleaned and disinfected at the site as needed.

What is being done to keep persons in care safe?

Team Members are:

  • Restricted to providing care and service support at a single site only (meaning they cannot work at more than one facility during the pandemic).
  • Required to go through mandatory daily screening upon arrival to ensure they are not ill.
  • Washing their hands frequently and wearing PPE at all times when providing care.

Team Members also:

  • Monitor persons in care for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Support them to wash their hands frequently throughout their day
  • Complete frequent additional cleaning of high use surfaces
  • Support persons in care to maintain physical distancing by:
    • limiting activities to small groups (6 or fewer persons)
    • arranging furniture in common areas and in dining areas to support physical distancing
    • providing additional support to persons in care who do not understand physical distancing
  • Work with existing registered volunteers to provide non-contact support to persons in care (volunteers are not entering persons in care/tenants’ rooms/suites)

What are sites doing to promote recreation and social programming?

Recreation and facility team members continue to provide ongoing therapeutic activities to engage and ensure emotional and social needs are being met.

These activities have been adjusted to ensure teams are maintaining required physical distancing and necessary enhanced infection prevention and control measures. Social and physical distancing does not mean social isolation

Examples of changes include, but are not limited to:

  • No group community outings, and
  • Activities being provided in small groups or on 1-1 in a persons in care room where physical distancing can be maintained.

Activities include:

  • Physical activities to keep persons in care moving – such as walking tours, wheelchair and armchair aerobics and exercises
  • Games and fun activities to connect people  – such as hallway bingo, trivia, and bowling, and
  • Activities that support all persons in care a mentally and emotionally – from 30 second to 30 minute activities.

Non-Essential Services

Non-essential in-house services temporarily stopped include, but are not limited to, the following services:

  • Large group recreational activities
  • Personal companions
  • Personal services such as massage therapy, reflexology, and spa treatments

Services that are permitted:

  • Foot care
  • Physiotherapy and occupational therapy
  • Hair salon/barber services:
    • Hair Stylists and follow the precautions outlined by Work Safe BC for personal services (i.e. both persons in care/tenant and hair stylists wear a mask).
    • The Work Safe BC Covid-19 Safety plan must be completed, reviewed and approved by the Manager and posted outside the hair salon for the persons in care/tenants to view.
    • Hair stylists must comply with the single site order which means they are restricted to providing services to either one Long-term Care or one Assisted Living home.

Long-term Care Specific Safety Measures

Long-term Care Off-site Medical Appointments and Treatments

At this time, all non-essential off-site medical appointments are on hold. The persons in care’s physician will be contacted to determine if a specific appointment is medically-essential.

If the off-site medical appointment(s) are identified by the persons in care’s physician as medically-essential, the individual appointment or recurring medical appointments will continue, as long as the following conditions are met:

  • persons in care has no symptoms of possible early COVID-19 infection
  • persons in care is transferred directly to the appropriate department for the appointment and right back to the LTC facility following
  • persons in care does not require 14 days isolation and symptom monitoring
  • persons in care, transportation personnel, and acute care staff wear appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Any potential breaches or potential COVID-19 exposures during transfer are reported  immediately to the facility

Leaves of Absence from Long-term Care

  • Please remember that persons in care must notify staff prior to leaving the long-term care home and to sign back in upon their return.
  • Persons in care can be temporarily absent from the Long-term Care facility for up to 90 days when it is in the best clinical and personal interests of the person in care.
  • During the person in care’s absence the following applies:
    • The persons in care’s bed will be held for them throughout the duration of their absence
    • The person in care/family is required to continue to pay the Long-term Care fees while the person is absent from the facility, and
    • If equipment is required to support the persons in care in the family home the person in care/family is responsible for organizing and paying for the required equipment.

Resident Care Conferences

  • Care conferences are continuing by teleconference and/or videoconference at this time.