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 9:35 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

The Creston Valley Farmers’ Market will be opening for the outdoor season this weekend. (File Photo)
A new season at the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market begins

Opening day will be on Saturday, April 24

Nav Canada will not be closing the tower at West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Nav Canada tower to remain open at West Kootenay Regional Airport

The organization was considering closing the tower

Frisky Whisky has closed its doors to the public under public health orders. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Cocktail lounge in Creston gets creative to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions

Frisky Whisky is now offering a lunch takeout menu and take-home cocktail kits

(Pixabay)
Earth Day: Creston Climate Action asks residents to join the conversation on climate change

In celebration of Earth Day, local Creston Climate Action group is inviting… Continue reading

Dresses hang outside Nelson city hall as part of the REDress Project by Métis artist Jaime Black. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson’s REDress Project exhibit vandalized

The REDress Project brings attention to missing and murdered Indigenous women

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 more COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Shannon Zirnhelt, from left, her son Lockie, 3, Julia Zirnhelt, 13, and Ella Krus, 13, co-founders of Third Planet Crusade are featured in a music video set to air on Earth Day, April 22, 2021. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
VIDEO: B.C.-made music video launched in time for Earth Day 2021

Singer songwriter Shannon Zirnhelt worked with Third Planet Crusade on the project in the Cariboo

Ambulance crews have been busy with a record number of emergency overdose calls this Wednesday, April 21. (BC Emergency Health Services)
B.C. paramedics responded to a record 138 overdose calls in a single day

Wednesday’s calls included 48 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 51 in Fraser Health

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. COVID-19 hotspots targeted as AstraZeneca vaccine runs low

17,000 appointments booked the first day for people aged 40 and up

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

A nurse loads a syringe with a vaccine for injection at the Victoria Clipper Terminal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout not enough to bring back normal life by fall: report

Only 51% of the population will be protected under B.C.’s current rollout, SFU professors say more vaccinations are needed to achieve herd immunity

Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
UPDATED: Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

Judge finds that Gabriel Klein is criminally responsible for death of Letisha Reimer

FILE – RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion block rail lines, in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, November 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

BCCLA said that speaking with communities could have avoided top-down approach

Most Read