Thirteen-year-old Grace Farquharson visited her grandmother, Rita Humber, for the first time in more than a year. Humber, 89, is a resident at Marwood House, a long-term care home at Langley Memorial Hospital. They’re both elated to be able to see and hug after a province-wide lockdown due to COVID. (Black Press Media files)

Thirteen-year-old Grace Farquharson visited her grandmother, Rita Humber, for the first time in more than a year. Humber, 89, is a resident at Marwood House, a long-term care home at Langley Memorial Hospital. They’re both elated to be able to see and hug after a province-wide lockdown due to COVID. (Black Press Media files)

Smiles abound as B.C. seniors in care get to see their families again

As of Thursday, the restrictions around visitation of elderly in long-term care has been eased

  • Apr. 3, 2021 8:35 a.m.

Easing of long-term care visitation rules came in place yesterday (Thursday, April 1), and it’s meaning a world of difference to many seniors in B.C., including in Langley.

Hundreds of people living in local long-term care homes have been able to see and hug family members they haven’t seen for more than a year.

Rita Humber, 89, for instance, was delighted to see her 13-year-old granddaughter today.

Humber, a resident of Marwood House at Langley Memorial Hospital said she was so thankful for the vaccine and the fact that she could see and hug her family.

“So happy!,” she shared.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced back on March 25 that the rules would be eased in care homes effect the start of this month.

“This pandemic has taken an incredible toll on people in long-term care and on their loved ones,” said Dix.

“We are grateful for the sacrifices people living and working in long-term care and their families have made to keep one another safe. With vaccines bringing an important layer of protection for everyone in our province, it is a safe time to ease visitor restrictions and support safe social connections for people in long-term care.”

RECENT: B.C. stops indoor dining, fitness, religious service due to COVID-19 spike

As of Thursday, all residents in long-term care and assisted living are able to have frequent, routine opportunities for social visitation.

Eased restrictions include:

• removing the requirement for a single designated social visitor to allow for additional family and friends to visit long-term care and assisted living residents;

• expanding the number of visitors so up to two visitors, plus a child, will be allowed to visit at a time, allowing people to connect in small groups;

• changing the allowable location of visits so family and friends can visit in residents’ rooms without staff present; and

• allowing physical touch between visitors and residents, provided appropriate infection prevention and control measures, like masks and hand hygiene, are in place.

Social visitation will continue to be suspended during outbreaks and will continue to require advanced booking, visitor health screening, use of medical masks and frequent hand hygiene.

“Changes to long-term care visitation to allow for increased social connection are incredibly welcome news for seniors and Elders in long-term care, and the communities that support them,” said Mable Elmore, parliamentary secretary for seniors services and long-term care.

“Through the unprecedented challenges this pandemic has posed, B.C. has taken strong action to protect people in long-term care and their loved ones, and we will continue to do everything we can to keep people in long-term care healthy and safe, both during this pandemic and beyond.”

Early in the pandemic, public health officials identified people living in long-term care and assisted living as particularly vulnerable to severe outcomes from COVID-19. In response, the province implemented lockdown protocols for those seniors, to keep them safe and healthy.

“This year has been challenging for all of us, but the challenges for those living and working in long-term care and their loved ones have been among the greatest we have faced,” said Henry.

“Now that the most vulnerable among us have received a vaccine, we are safely amending restrictions to give people in long-term care greater opportunities to connect with the people they love.”

People living and working in long-term care and assisted living were among the very first to receive COVID-19 vaccinations as a part of B.C.’s strategy to use vaccines to protect those most vulnerable to severe illness first and reduce transmission in high-risk settings.

RELATED – Staff shortage during B.C.’s deadliest COVID-19 care home outbreak: report

MORE: Canada’s long-term care residents got less medical care in 1st wave of pandemic: report


Have a story tip? Email: news@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusSeniorsseniors housing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Thirteen-year-old Grace Farquharson visited her grandmother, Rita Humber, for the first time in more than a year. Humber, 89, is a resident at Marwood House, a long-term care home at Langley Memorial Hospital. They’re both elated to be able to see and hug after a province-wide lockdown due to COVID. (Black Press Media files)

Thirteen-year-old Grace Farquharson visited her grandmother, Rita Humber, for the first time in more than a year. Humber, 89, is a resident at Marwood House, a long-term care home at Langley Memorial Hospital. They’re both elated to be able to see and hug after a province-wide lockdown due to COVID. (Black Press Media files)

Just Posted

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Drivers who try to bulldoze through others

Inevitably I will end up with nothing but grille showing in my rearview mirror

X
Think on These Things: Truth is given to be shared

“Everyone is invited. Poor or wealthy. All need to recognize the authority of true goodness.”

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

A mushroom grower plans to plan new mushrooms in fallen trees in the Kaslo Community Forest. File photo
Kaslo mushroom farmer given green light for unique project

Robin Mercy will plant mushrooms in the Kaslo Community Forest

Alison Watson spotted this mama bear and her cub up an oak tree in Warfield last fall. Photo: Alison Watson
Secure your trash; Bears are awaking in Greater Trail and they’re hungry

Trash is the most reported attractant involved in human-bear conflicts

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Most Read