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

Police responded to a report of a shooting in the 1300-block of 176 Street at around 7:15 p.m. on June 3, 2017. (File photo)
Trial dates set for senior charged in 2017 ‘targeted’ South Surrey shooting

Jury trial for Kenneth Turpin scheduled to begin Oct. 25

Earl Marriott Secondary alumna Tanis Orsetti has received a $15,000 Cmolik Graduate Studies Scholarship to further her studies in the field of medicine. (File/Contributed photo)
Earl Marriott alumna selected for new $15K scholarship

Tanis Orsetti is studying the use immunotherapy in cancer treatment

Eternity Medical Equipment’s ECAN95 masks have received Health Canada approval and CSA certification. (Eternity Medical Equipment photo)
South Surrey N-95 equivalent manufacturer launches mask recycling program

Eternity Medical Equipment partners with Ontario-based LifeCycle Revive

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

People take part in an anti-curfew protest in Montreal on Sunday April 11, 2021. Hundreds of people gathered in Old Montreal tonight in defiance of a new 8 p.m. curfew. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Giuseppe Valiante
VIDEO: Hundreds defy Montreal’s 8 p.m. curfew in violent, destructive protest

Quebec reported 1,535 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, as well as five additional deaths linked to the virus

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

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

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

Most Read