Kamloops assisted-living residents going stir crazy amid pandemic - InfoNews

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Kamloops assisted-living residents going stir crazy amid pandemic

The Hamlets in Kamloops.
Image Credit: Google Maps
July 02, 2020 - 6:00 AM

Gordon Gore has not stepped outside of The Hamlets, an assisted living and care facility, in the Kamloops Westsyde in four months.

He recently signed a petition advocating for the residents to be able to go outside and to have more freedom, but this was signed prior to the provincial health officer's announcement that more visitors and restrictions will begin to ease at care facilities.

“I look out my window and I see hundreds of Westsyde residents going by, and there are no cases in this area and I’m wondering why don’t I have that freedom? I would take that responsibility too,” Gore said. 

For the past seven years, he goes to the golf course and takes photos of wildlife. This year, however, he hasn’t been able to go because of the lockdown. He said he's not the only one going stir crazy indoors.

“There’s no virus in this area,” Gore said. “This is not the coast.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced June 30, that visitors will now be allowed in long term and assisted care homes but it may take a week or more for approved plans to be put in place in individual facilities.

“We’re all a little anxious because we know what can happen if we don’t get this right,” Dr. Henry said.

READ MORE: Expect more troubling reports to come to light at B.C. seniors homes

“We will continue to take things slowly, and thoughtfully, to be cautious. Change your appointment if you’re not feeling well. This will be so incredibly important.”

She said the spread of COVID-19 in B.C. is very low but not zero, so there is always some risk. While residents in long term care are the most vulnerable to getting sick and dying of the disease, there needs to be a balance between that risk and the negative consequences of being apart from family and loved ones.

Each care facility will, first of all, need to be free of any COVID-19 outbreak.

READ MORE: Long term care homes in B.C. being opened up for visitors on a limited basis

Each of the B.C.’s 32,000 residents of long term and assisted living homes will be allowed one visitor who will be screened by staff when they enter and must wear masks. They will be trained on how to wear those masks properly. Visits must be booked in advance.

Visits will be in designated indoor or outdoor spaces and, for those with limited mobility, visits may be allowed in rooms.

Bob Attfield, general manager of The Hamlets, said the care facility is putting together a transition plan to open the facility to visitors and to allow residents outside.

He noted that the plan will be part of a phased approach to ease restrictions.


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