“We’re very happy that the visitor guidelines have been loosened,” said Debra Croteau, daughter of Garrison Green resident Del Croteau. “We all want to keep mom safe, but the visitor restrictions have been very difficult for the family.”
Last week, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health issued Order 29-2020, which outlines the guidelines and processes for allowing more visitor and family access to both of United’s communities.
The order provides guidelines for:
- Indoor Designated Family/Support Persons
- Outdoor Visits
- Visits for Extenuating Circumstances
And includes two fact sheets:
- Family/Support Visiting Fact Sheet
- Family/Support Visiting Fact Sheet for Residents
Details on all of the guidelines and fact sheets can be found on the Alberta government website.
United will continue to evaluate the guidelines to ensure access is working as well as possible.
“The loosening of visitor restrictions is great news for our residents,” said Kathy Cleary, director of quality enhancement and innovation. “It’s important that residents are able to visit with each other and their Designated Family Support Persons (DFSP) within the community as long as neither resident nor DFSP is required to isolate. Residents can spend time together in common areas, and under the new order, residents will also be able to visit with each other or with their assigned DFSP(s) in their suites. Physical distancing should be maintained and masks are encouraged if physical distancing cannot be maintained.”
“I haven’t seen my mom since March,” said Debra. “I’ve called her every day, but I haven’t been able to visit, so I’m really looking forward to seeing her in person. She is doing fine, but she is blind so that makes it very difficult at times. She is usually quite active, but not being able to get out has bothered her the most. My sister and I took her out for dinner this week, so it was great for all of us to get together again.”
“I’m also pleased with the updated rules,” said Laurie Dolph, daughter of resident Jim Dolph. “Bit by bit and very carefully, more and more has opened up. I’m sure it’s been hard for United, as they have likely felt pressure (from residents and their families) to ‘hurry up’ and add more freedoms. Fortunately, the management has thought carefully about how to go about opening up. The health of their residents has ALWAYS been their priority! My dad and I went for lovely drives in the country when only one person was allowed to visit. (We both had to wear masks, of course.) My dad adored those drives! We still do them often. But now, he’s allowed two designated essential family members, so my brother, David, also has lovely driving trips with my dad.”
United will be developing a number of policies and processes including a community risk tolerance assessment. Residents, families and employees will be asked for their views to develop the assessment.
The restrictions on visiting mean that tours aren’t available right now, but don’t hesitate to talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange for a tour once we are able to do so. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help!
To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.
Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.