Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Patient visits have been restricted to essential only at some long-term care facilities. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Patient visits have been restricted to essential only at some long-term care facilities. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)

Opposition calls for better family access to B.C. care homes

Still inconsistent across the province, Shirley Bond says

Now that B.C.’s scarce supply of COVID-19 vaccine has reached all of B.C.’s senior care homes, the opposition leader is calling for better family access to social visits for elderly people who have been locked down for a year.

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond wrote to Health Minister Adrian Dix Thursday, advising him that confusion and inconsistency is still a problem in visitation policies, months after they were identified in an internal consultant report in October.

“We continue to hear stories of confusion across the province, where we have seen discrepancies, even between care homes in the same health authority, where people are unclear about what the rules are, who gets to visit, that kind of detail,” Bond told Black Press Media Feb. 4. “We’re not at all suggesting that we want to put the residents of long-term care at risk of people transmitting the virus by visiting, but there does need to be clarity.”

RELATED: B.C. gets first vaccine doses to all senior care homes

RELATED: Care home visit restrictions contribute to depression

The issue was raised last year by B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie, with a survey of residents that identified more were concerned about dying of loneliness than COVID-19. “Facing a year or more before life gets back to normal is ‘sobering’ for long-term care residents, many of whom are in the last year or 18 months of their lives,” Mackenzie is quoted saying in the letter.

Bond said standardized guidelines are needed, and there have been “hints” that Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry will address the situation on Friday when they update the current public health orders and advice.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

(Black Press file photo)
Charges laid against two suspects in pre-Christmas home invasion

An 88-year-old woman was hospitalized after being bear-sprayed in the face Dec. 18, 2020

Liam and Tyler Spaans, (L-R), are two of the current lifeguards at the Houston Leisure Facility. (Houston Leisure Services file photo)
Leisure facility anticipates need for lifeguards

Has been challenged in the past

Residents rank snow removal as a high priority within District boundaries. (Houston Today file photo)
Road work and snow removal ranked as important in citizen survey

But residents also expressed dissatisfaction with each

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

Most Read