Countries around the world are actively working to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. One strategy is physical distancing (also known as social distancing) or avoiding interaction with others. This means that we are separated from each other in a way we’ve never been forced to before. This can lead to isolation and loneliness for all of us.
To help keep long-term care residents safe during the pandemic, families are currently restricted from visiting their loved ones in long-term care. While this strategy is necessary, it can contribute to feelings of fear, frustration, sadness, and isolation. Families are facing an unprecedented situation and we know that you need support. We are here to help.
Please join our Virtual Family Forum created by Family Councils Ontario to share your concerns, brainstorm ideas for maintaining a connection with residents during the visitor restriction, ask FCO staff questions about the COVID-19 situation and how it is impacting LTC, and give and receive support from your peers.
The discussion will be driven by family members with facilitation by an FCO staff person. The first round of virtual forums will take place on the following days and times:
- Thursday, March 26: 2:00 to 3:00 pm
Note: the virtual family forum replaces the Leadership Models webinar originally scheduled for this time.
- Tuesday, March 31: 7:00 to 8:00 pm
- Thursday, April 2: 10:30 to 11:30 am
The Virtual Family Forum occurs several times. Please register for the date and time that works best for you.
More dates and times will be added as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Stay tuned for notice of additional forums.
Please note that each session is limited to 25 participants, so please register for only 1 session.
After you register, you will receive more information about how you can join the group for these discussions either by phone or on your personal computer.
If you want to connect with us one-on-one, you can continue to do so by phone and email. We’re here for you.
Update from the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health
Earlier today, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Williams, released a directive to LTC homes across the province asking that the following precautions and procedures be implemented immediately:
- Residents of long-term care homes should not be permitted to leave the home for short-stay absences to visit family and friends. Once residents leave the home, they may put others at risk because COVID-19 community transmission is now happening. Please maintain a connection with your loved one through virtual visits.
Wherever possible, employers should work with employees to limit the number of different work locations that employees are working at, to minimize risk to patients of exposure to COVID-19.
At FCO, we understand how hard it is to be separated from your loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic. We implore you to listen to the directives and recommendations from Public Health, the Chief Medical Officer of Health, and the government. The best thing you can do to help keep residents safe and limit the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home. Please, keep yourself, your loved ones, and your community safe.
Executive Director, Family Councils Ontario