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

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

Mabel Todd, 83, of the Nak’azdli First Nation, leads a group of family members and advocates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls as they walk along the so-called Highway of Tears in Moricetown, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Province, feds fund full cell service along ‘Highway of Tears’ following years of advocacy

A ‘critical milestone in helping prevent future tragedies’ after at least 10 Indigenous women murdered, missing along the route

Erin O’Toole, Conservative Party of Canada leader, answered questions during a Terrace District Chamber of Commerce event on April 6, 2021. (Screenshot/Terrace District Chamber of Commerce Facebook)
Erin O’Toole discusses Terrace issues during virtual event

Federal Conservative leader answered questions during a Terrace & District Chamber of Commerce event

Tree; Burns Lake library. (Laura Blackwell photo/Lakes District News)
Dragon Tree christened

The Burns Lake Public Library contest for dragon and tree names has… Continue reading

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

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

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Most Read