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Long-term care and assisted living

Long-term care and assisted living

We are working hard to keep people safe who are living and working in our long-term care and assisted living facilities.  

The COVID-19 disease is particularly serious for those who live in long-term care and assisted living facilities, as it can cause severe illness including pneumonia, respiratory failure, and in some cases death.

To ensure everyone’s safety and well-being, our long-term care and assisted living facilities have implemented these safety measures: 

Enhanced cleaning

We have increased the frequency of cleaning to high-touch areas such as side rails, tables and elevator buttons.

Symptom monitoring and testing

To prevent transmission we need to identify who might be sick. This means carefully monitoring staff and residents for symptoms and providing testing where appropriate.

Isolation of potential and positive cases

To limit exposure, people who move into our facilities, or are returning from overnight hospital admission are required to isolate in a private room for 14 days. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 we take all possible steps to keep residents who have COVID-19 in their rooms while they are recovering.

Physical distancing

We have reduced large group and social activities to decrease the risk of transmission. 

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

For the safety of the people who live and work in our facilities, care teams wear personal protective equipment such as masks, eye protection and gloves. If a resident has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, care teams will also wear gowns. All visitors are required to wear a mask. 

Working at only one location

To reduce the risk of transmission, staff members are only working at one long-term care or assisted living facility.

Restricted visitor policy

All visitors must:

  • be screened for signs and symptoms of illness, including COVID-19, and possible exposure to COVID-19 prior to every visit
  • wear a mask for the duration of the visit
  • maintain two metres of physical distance where possible
  • practice hand and respiratory hygiene (cough/sneeze etiquette)

Social visits

Social visits are opportunities for people who live in long-term care or assisted living facilities to visit with one designated family member or friend. Visitors will be able to socialize in specific areas identified by staff members. Visits must be booked in advance and will not be allowed if there is an active COVID-19 outbreak.

Essential visits

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

  • Compassionate care such as support during critical illness, end of life care
  • 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
  • Assistance with feeding, mobility or emotional/behavioural needs
  • Only one person can be an essential visitor
  • Families may contact the facility to discuss if their loved one qualifies for an essential visit
  • There is not a specified maximum number of people who can visit a person in care at their end-of-life
  • Please visit our Visitor information page to learn more

Recreation and social activities

Recreation and facility care teams continue to provide activities that ensure the emotional and social needs of those living in long-term care and assisted living are being met.

These activities have been adjusted to ensure teams are maintaining physical distancing and infection prevention measures

Social and physical distancing does not mean social isolation.

Services that are permitted

  • Foot care
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Hair salon and barber services (following the precautions outlined by WorkSafeBC)

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

Leaves of absence

  • Please remember that persons in care must notify staff prior to leaving and 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,
    • If equipment is required to support care at home, the person in care/family is responsible for organizing and paying for the required equipment