B.C. seniors advocate to survey pandemic experiences of care residents, families

VICTORIA — British Columbia seniors in long-term care and their family members are being asked to participate in a survey to chronicle their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie says long-term care residents and their families have made heartbreaking sacrifices during the pandemic and she wants to hear from them.

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Since last March, she says 125 seniors in long-term care and assisted-living facilities have died from COVID-19, but during that same period, more than 2,000 seniors in care facilities have died of other causes.

Mackenzie says health restrictions limiting visits to long-term care and assisted-living facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have had profound impacts on residents and family members and the survey gives them a voice.

She says the survey, Staying Apart to Stay Safe: The Impact of Visitor Restrictions on Long Term Care and Assisted Living, is available online, by mail or can be completed over the telephone by Sept. 30.

Mackenzie says she expects the survey results will help develop policy that will make it easier for long-term-care residents and their family members to stay in touch with each other as the pandemic continues.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 26, 2020.

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