With COVID-19 cases on the rise, it will be another quiet Christmas for many seniors living in long-term care.
Sharon McDonald, 74, lives at the Maxwell Residence in Baie d’Urfe and had been planning to leave the grounds to visit her children and grandchildren for Christmas before canceling.
“Why do it? Why take the risk? I know a lot of my friends have said the same thing. Cancel, cancel, cancel,” he told Global News.
Some in the private residence have decided to leave to attend family reunions.
“Basically, we remind them of the guidelines, that it is not recommended and that they make the final decision themselves,” said Farzad Shodjai, co-owner and general manager of Maxwell Residence.
The risk of someone returning the virus to the residence is always a concern, but Quebec asks residents to closely monitor their symptoms when they return. Shodjai is encouraged by the fact that most of his residents have received their booster injections.
“They assure me that they will follow all government guidelines regarding the number of visitors per household and will keep their distance,” he said.
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In long-term care homes there are no decisions to make.
Aside from a few exceptions, the latest government directive says CHSLD residents cannot leave the premises for a private gathering or community stay.
People in CHSLD can receive one visitor at a time, limited to two per day.
The rules are not as strict in RPA, where two people can visit at a time for a maximum of four per day on Christmas. Starting on the 26th, two per day becomes the maximum.
“To be safe, I believe that all of my residents and their adult children have agreed that we follow the government’s guidelines,” Shodjai said.
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McDonald is encouraged by the fact that she will still be able to meet friends in the common areas of the residence and will not be alone as in previous waves of COVID. She said she feels safe inside the residence.
Worry is not what you want at Christmas. That’s like a lump of coal, ”he said.
She will connect with the family virtually, until the COVID situation calms down.
“I am going to have a Zoom with my granddaughter, Cassandra, in Calgary and watch her open her gifts. That, for me, is Christmas: seeing my grandchildren open their presents. “
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