SafeCare BC and Family Caregivers of BC Launch Safe Visitation Course
SafeCare BC and Family Caregivers of BC Kickstart Safe Visitation at Long-term Care Homes and Call on Other Organizations to Partner
For Immediate Release: July 22, 2020
BURNABY – In response to changes announced last month by the Provincial Health Officer on visitation in long-term care and assisted living, SafeCare BC, in collaboration with Family Caregivers of British Columbia, has developed an online COVID-19 orientation for families and friends wanting to support loved ones in care.
To address concerns of safety for residents and workers, family and friends of those in care would become “COVID-competent” by taking this easy-to-access orientation, printing off a record of completion and then completing a site-specific safety orientation at the care home or assisted living residence.
Our goal is to offer this program free of charge. We’re looking for organizations who want to partner with us and invest in the health and safety of those working and living in care homes and assisted living residences. Family Caregivers of British Columbia has committed $30,000 to help ensure free access to this orientation.
“We are grateful for Family Caregivers of British Columbia’s partnership, so we can offer free access to the first 5,000 users, and we are calling on other organizations to help support this program financially,” says Jen Lyle, CEO, SafeCare BC. “Everyone recognizes the vital role family members and loved ones play in the well-being of our seniors living in care, and to do so in a way that keeps seniors and staff working in the sector is paramount during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Through this partnership we are able to address a number of needs and issues, quickly bringing skills and confidence to family and friend caregivers and offering enhanced safety measures to care settings,” says Barb MacLean, Executive Director, Family Caregivers of BC. “Collaborating with SafeCare BC has allowed us to meet an identified need without re-creating the wheel, and together we are moving ahead to support families as essential partners in care.”
“I am thrilled that this education module is now available, and I will be signing up immediately,” says Marlene Schlotterbeck, who is a caregiver to two friends and the chair of the Family Council where they live in long-term care. “I feel this orientation will not only be beneficial for me in preparing me to resume my support role with in-person visits but also in helping other family caregivers in my volunteer role with Family Caregivers of BC.”
Continuing care organizations have told us they support this approach, knowing that family members and friends coming to a care home or assisted living residence have a basic understanding of health and safety practices. This would also continue to show BC as a leader in Canada’s pandemic response.
“We are pleased that SafeCare BC has taken the initiative to develop these courses to help keep our residents and staff safe,” says Joy Parsons, CEO Fair Haven Homes Society. “We are supportive of the role that family and friends play in the care of their loved ones, but it’s important that they have a brief orientation before coming. This is a win for everyone.”
To enroll in the COVID-19: Social Visitation Essentials orientation, individuals can create their FREE account now at safecarebclearningspace.ca. The orientation will take no longer than an hour to complete.
This program would enable care organizations, which are already under significant strain, to focus on site-specific instructions when orienting family members and friends to their safety procedures.
About SafeCare BC
SafeCare BC is the health and safety association for BC’s continuing care sector, whose 865 member organizations, employ 28,000 workers. We strive to support safe and healthy workplaces. www.safecarebc.ca
About Family Caregivers of BC
Family Caregivers of British Columbia is a registered non-profit dedicated 100% to supporting family caregivers. Most of us have cared for aging, ailing or disabled loved ones and have experienced firsthand the stress, joy, confusion, and feelings of purpose that come with caregiving. www.familycaregiversbc.ca