This weekend I enjoyed a wonderful homemade dinner at the home of some close friends and it felt ‘normal’ – a life we enjoyed and took for granted before Covid.
I am fortunate in so many ways and one was not living with the angst of not being able to visit a loved one living in Long Term Care(LTC)/ nursing home.
I am however aware and working with many families who have had to live with the worry, sleepless nights, guilt and loneliness of not being able to visit their spouse or parent over the last many months.
Families are the backbone of our health care system and without their integral involvement, many residents would not be able to survive, let alone thrive in a LTC residence.
A recent article https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ontario-nursing-homes-covid-19-1.5644621 shared that: “Currently in Ontario, family members are only allowed to see long-term care residents during 30-minute outdoor visits, with few exceptions. Homes are only required to provide those visits once a week and they must be pre-scheduled.
One visitor is allowed at a time and they must wear a mask and practice physical distancing from their loved one. Visitors are also asked to confirm that they have tested negative for COVID-19 in the previous 14 days before their scheduled time. Beyond those visits, Ontario’s long-term care residents remain confined inside while other provinces are allowing more freedoms and visitor access.”
When we talk about advanced directives, many of us prefer quality of life over quantity of years. When the cure is worse than the disease, we need to re examine our policies and procedures.
Family visitors are truly more than essential visitors; they can make all the difference in the world. These visits can be mutually beneficial and it is a sad day when family cannot be allowed to visit, comfort and connect with one another. I remain hopeful that easier testing and access to PPE will allow families to reconnect and regularly resume their visits with their loved ones.