Family Visitation in Long-term Care and Assisted Living
Effective March 18, the following will apply to all long-term care and registered seniors’ assisted living settings in BC:
- Social visits have resumed at long-term care homes/residences. Social visits will only be allowed if there is no active COVID-19 outbreak.
- Visits may occur without advance booking during the daily designated social visiting hours at a care home.
- All visitors shall be screened for signs and symptoms of illness, including COVID-19 upon arrival to the care home.
- If you have signs of symptoms of illness, or if you are in self-isolation or quarantine, you will not be permitted to visit. Ask the care home/residence if there are other ways you can still connect with your loved one, whether online or by phone.
- Visitors aged 12 and over will be asked to provide proof of vaccination status. All visitors including those fully vaccinated, are required to wear a medical mask in hallways, common areas and multiple occupancy rooms when visiting long-term care homes.
- Masks are not required when fully vaccinated visitors are visiting residents in single occupancy rooms or seniors’ assisted living units.
- Children over the age of two should be encouraged to wear a mask if they can. In cases where a medical mask is too large for a child, children should wear a pediatric-sized mask, even if it is not medical grade.
- Visitors aged 12 and older must undergo rapid point of care testing when visiting a long-term care home. Visitors who test positive or refuse to consent to a rapid point of care test will not be permitted to visit.
- Visitors to standalone senior’ assisted living residences are not required to undergo rapid point of care testing.
- Every resident in long-term care can identify a single designated visitor. Single designated visitors are permitted in a care home that has an active COVID-19 outbreak, under the guidance and direction of the local medical health officer.
SafeCare BC has created Visitation FAQ Templates, which provide staff and visitors with the information they need for a safe, comfortable visit.
These templates are designed to answer visitors’ biggest questions and reduce demands on care staff.
There are two templates available. Both offer the same information, but in different formats.
- The trifold pamphlet is best if you intend to print the information and hand it out to visitors
- The double-sided flyer is best for electronic purposes — if you’re linking to it on your website or e-newsletter, or emailing it to potential visitors.
- Download the template that works best for you.
- Fill in your organization name, address, phone number, and email in the corresponding placeholders.
- Fill in the “Released” date. Many of the answers you provide may change in the future, so this will help readers know what version they have.
- Replace the black text under each question with a response from the perspective of your organization, using “we”.
- Delete any questions not applicable to you.
- Add any questions that are applicable to you, but are not listed. Ensure to write these questions from the perspective of the visitor.
- Distribute this information to staff and visitors. This will help you ensure everyone is on the same page and that your messaging is consistent.
NOTE: The template should be completed by the organization’s director of care, or whoever is responsible for visitation rules. Refer to Visitor Guidance for Long-Term Care and Seniors’ Assisted Living for the most up-to-date information from the Ministry of Health.
In partnership with Family Caregivers of BC, SafeCare BC is proud to bring you COVID-19: Social Visitation Essentials. This self-paced, online course is intended for those who would like to visit a family member or friend residing in a long-term care home or assisted living residence, as permitted by the care home’s safety plan and regional public health direction. This course offers:
- an introduction to COVID-19
- details on where British Columbians can find current and reliable COVID-19 information
- instructions on how to help slow the transmission of COVID-19
- an overview of the visitation guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control
Upon successful completion of the course and quizzes, you will receive a certificate that can be presented to the management personnel at the long-term care home or assisted living residence.
- Safety Huddle – Responding to Visitor Emotions
- Handout – Responding to Visitor Emotions
- Alzheimer Society – Making a Referral to First Link
- BCCDC Poster – Visiting guidelines for long-term care
- BCCDC Poster – Visiting guidelines for seniors’ assisted living