Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


RNAO responds to new visiting policies in LTC homes

RNAO applauds the Oct. 5 Ministry of Health directive ensuring that essential visitors designated by a long-term care (LTC) home resident and or their substitute decision-maker remain welcome in nursing homes in the wake of a second wave of COVID-19. This is the most humane approach and clearly benefits the resident, the caregiver and LTC staff.  The benefits, along with specific protocols in LTC homes, outweigh any risks. We cannot relive the horror residents, families and staff experienced this spring. 

We stand with families in urging that we never again shut out essential caregivers, regardless of COVID-19-related community or LTC home conditions. As RNAO outlined in its five step process for reuniting families during COVID-19, we believe one essential caregiver must be able to be present in a home and in the company of the resident, without undue restriction on the number or length of visits. For LTC homes in an active outbreak, the essential caregiver can be asked to sign a statement of understanding that they are placing themselves at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19, and accept all responsibility.

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