Long-term care visitation is being restored in BC.
That was a part of Dr. Bonnie Henry’s announcement that some mandates in BC, including the mask mandate was being lifted.
BC’s Seniors Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie, says that’s good news for the families with loved one’s in long-term care.
“I think we’ve had the last, almost three months now, where many people have not been able to see their mom or dad, or grandma or granddad,” Mackenzie said.
“We have had some visits but they’ve been limited mostly to one person, sometimes to two people. This is getting back to the visits we were experiencing before Christmas.”
Mackenzie said she thinks the measures that were in place were put in with the best of intentions, but may not have struck the right balance.
“I think given the powerful effect of the vaccine, particularly the booster, and with the ability of using rapid tests to detect actively infectious people, I think we could have had more access for visitors to their loved ones in long-term care given the heavy protections those layers provided,” Mackenzie said.
According to Mackenzie, over 1,000 seniors died of COVID-19 in BC during the pandemic, but well over 13,000 died in long-term care of other causes. She added many of these seniors, during the last weeks and months of their lives, were heavily restricted in their activities, and spending time with their loved ones.
“I think when we’re on the other side of this pandemic, take a heartfelt look back around what we did, everybody agrees we did it with the best of intentions, but really, did we do the right thing, knowing what we know now.”