British Columbia

More pandemic protection needed for B.C. seniors as second COVID-19 wave hits: report

Recommendations include the use of rapid testing protocols and clear guidelines on how essential family caregivers can stay safely connected to their loved ones.

Report calls for better funding and pandemic pay for care staff, and programs aimed at addressing burnout

In a report, the B.C. Care Providers Association says seniors in the province need more support during COVID-19's second wave. (Shutterstock)

An organization representing seniors-care providers in British Columbia has released new recommendations as a second wave of COVID-19 descends on the province. 

The B.C. Care Providers Association, which speaks for long-term care, assisted living, independent living and home health operators, has issued a report examining the response to seniors care during the pandemic.

Association CEO Terry Lake says strong measures have already been implemented by the health ministry, but his organization sees more ways to improve the lives of seniors and caregivers.

Key recommendations include the use of rapid testing protocols and clear guidelines on how essential family caregivers can stay safely connected to their loved ones.

The report also calls for better funding and pandemic pay for staff, along with improved mental health and safety programs to ease what Lake says is widespread employee burnout.

Heath industry consultant Howegroup authored the report, which also says the liberties of residents and staff were eroded by a series of public health orders and restrictions on visits to seniors' facilities. 

"There are many lessons from our experiences during the pandemic so far, and one of them is the need to protect residents' quality of life during this vulnerable time,'' Lake says in a statement.

The report was compiled following a sector-wide consultation of care facilities, staff and residents, using a mix of interviews, roundtables, a member survey and online submissions.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now