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

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Jasper after he was reunited with his owners Mary and Brent Hummel. Photo: Steve Smith
New children’s book features lost Castlegar dog who swam the Columbia multiple times

Brent and Mary Hummel and Jasper tell their dramatic story

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

Most Read