Visitor policy for long-term care homes updated

The province has updated its policy for caregivers to visit in long-term care facilities to clarify guidance effective September 9th (2020).
The visitor policy for long-term care homes has been updated to help operators implement consistent visiting practices across the province.
Since March, ‘essential visitors’ to long-term care homes have included individuals performing essential support services or those visiting a very ill or palliative resident. Under this umbrella, ‘caregivers’ are essential visitors and important partners in care who provide direct care to residents — such as helping with feeding, mobility, hygiene, or cognitive stimulation. They can be family members or friends, privately hired caregivers, paid companions and/or translators.
Operators have been encouraged to facilitate visits by caregivers, however, implementation has been inconsistent. The updated policy provides clarity that caregivers are allowed to visit homes at any time, including during an outbreak, subject to direction from the local public health unit. Caregivers include family members who provide direct care, privately hired caregivers, paid companions or translators.
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In addition, long-term care residents can once again leave their residences for short-stay and temporary absences. Residents can spend time away from their long-term care homes for day trips or overnight absences. For ‘short-stay’ absences — those that do not include an overnight stay — homes must provide residents with a medical mask to be worn at all times when outside of the home, if tolerated, and remind them of the importance of public health measures, including physical distancing. When they return, residents must be actively screened but are not required to be tested or to self-isolate.
Residents may also leave for ‘temporary’ absences of one or more nights. Temporary absences will be at the discretion of the home and decided on a case-by-case basis based on safety factors like the risk associated with the absence (e.g., for a family weekend vs. a large gathering) and ability of the home to help residents self-isolate upon return. For the protection of their neighbours, residents who leave on a temporary absence will be required to self-isolate for 14 days when they return to the home. If a home makes the decision to deny a temporary absence request, they must communicate their rationale in writing.
For detailed information, CLICK HERE