New guide aims to give families “The Best Visit Possible” in care homes

AS the COVID-19 crisis continues to raise the risks for the seniors living and care sector, BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) and EngAge BC are releasing a new guide to enhance in-person and online visits that support the best quality of life possible for residents of long-term care and assisted living homes. The association – which represents the majority of the province’s long-term care and assisted living operators – is showcasing best practices for the sector during a critical time.

The Best Visit Possible: A guide for supporting family visits during COVID 19 was informed by wide ranging consultations with sector stakeholders – including care providers and family council representatives – and asked residents and family members to comment on what a good visit means to them.

“Since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic, no issue has been more vexing and heart wrenching than the issue of restricting family visits,” said Terry Lake, CEO, BCCPA and EngAge BC, on Tuesday. “So much so, that the sector was in many ways unprepared for the loss of comfort and support that family members provide as integral members of the care team.

“While there is no substitute for the level of access family members had pre-COVID, the Best Visit Possible guide does provide many helpful ways to improve the visitation experience while keeping staff, residents and their loved ones safe.”

The guide builds upon the association’s earlier publication titled The Best Day Possible: A Quality of Life Framework for Seniors’ Care in B.C., a tool for promoting a culture of person-centered care.

“There is much more work to be done by our organization when it comes to supporting our families during and after the pandemic ends,” said Lake. “We will continue to work alongside our partners at the Ministry of Health and at the health authorities to establish a balance between keeping residents and staff safe and ensuring that residents have access to the family support they rely on to live well.”

BCCPA and EngAge BC thanked the many individuals and organizations who contributed to this guide, including the members of the project’s advisory group, the Alzheimer Society of B.C., CanAge, the Vancouver Island Association of Family Councils, SafeCare BC, BCCPA’s Board of Directors, the EngAge BC Member Council and the many family members who took time to provide their feedback.

To learn more and to download a copy of the guide, visit