Advocate Strives to Make Christmas More Family Friendly for Seniors
Photograph by Cristian Newman
There is less than a month to go before Christmas and BC’s Seniors Advocate and the operators of care homes in the province are attempting to get an additional designated visitor for each senior living in long term care.
Isobel MacKenzie is hopeful they can find a way to make Christmas a little better for seniors, especially those who are nearing the end of their lives.
“We have to remember that, for a number of our people in long term care, this is going to be their last Christmas.”
In a report about the impact of COVID-19 restrictions that was released early in November, the Seniors Advocate said tight visitor restrictions are having a negative effect on the health and well being of the elderly in care homes.
MacKenzie has reviewed her report with care home operators and the provincial government and says they’re working on a way to allow one more designated visitor for each senior.
She says they’re in discussions to work “within the guidelines we have with the one designated visitor; get those visits happening more frequently.”
However, MacKenzie says the discussions to allow seniors to have two designated visitors have become more difficult because of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
She fears they may have suffered a setback due to the recent outbreaks in long term care and the rising numbers of community transmissions of COVID-19.