Important Public Advisory: Retirement Home Visiting Policy
December 22, 2021
As a result of enhanced COVID-19 precautions issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), retirement homes have been strongly encouraged to implement policies that may result in unvaccinated general visitors being prevented from entering a home.
We recognize that it’s the holiday season and that these enhanced measures may impact how residents and their loved celebrate the holidays together.
Further to the CMOH direction, retirement homes are allowed to develop their own policies related to unvaccinated general visitors that take into consideration their unique circumstances and the demographics of the residents who live there.
RHRA expects that homes will be reasonable in the development of their policies by being mindful of residents’ emotional wellbeing, particularly in situations where an unvaccinated general visitor may be a resident’s only visitor and/or in palliative circumstances.
RHRA is reminding homes that visiting policies should in no way cause a resident emotional distress or prevent them from receiving the care they need including those individuals designated as Essential Visitors. Any policy that results in extreme emotional distress or the prevention of residents receiving proper care could be considered abuse and/or neglect, which RHRA would look into.
Residents are at the heart of everything we do. Should RHRA be made aware of any concerns related to the wellbeing of residents, emotionally or physically, we will take the appropriate action.
Concerns related to preventing visitors from entering a home is a matter that falls under the Residential Tenancies Act, and should be brought to the attention of the Landlord and Tenant Board.