The BC Seniors Living Association (BCSLA) is asking on the province to be sure that COVID-19 vaccines will likely be distributed in an equitable means, not solely to seniors in assisted living and long-term care amenities but additionally to those in independent living.
BCSLA CEO Lee Coonfer instructed Global News that earlier in the pandemic, independent living amenities had been seemingly forgotten for authorities funding because the virus rampaged by means of long-term care centres.
“When we have a look at independent living or seniors communities the place residents don’t essentially want the care necessities that assisted living wants, they had been neglected of that altogether and had been offered no funding or help,” he mentioned.
That’s in spite of continued efforts by the BCSLA to have interaction with the federal government and advocate for group operators, the group mentioned.
“However, it hasn’t at all times meant that seniors living operators are all handled the identical,” the BCSLA mentioned in a press launch.
“Compensation for private protecting tools (PPE), pandemic pay and help to accommodate visitation restrictions haven’t at all times been made out there to non-public operators of assisted living and long-term care communities. In most instances, independent living (IL) websites are missed altogether.”
Renewed involved about COVID-19 in long-term care properties
Coonfer mentioned he’s undecided if that’s as a result of seniors in independent living are thought-about not as bodily weak as those in long-term care or assisted living, or as a result of the federal government was merely attempting to get funding out as rapidly as attainable.
But he mentioned the independent living sector has additionally been hit laborious by the pandemic, each in phrases of outbreak and the bodily and psychological well being of workers and residents.
And when it comes to the vaccine, the BCSLA mentioned seniors in those amenities want to be close to the entrance of that checklist, someplace proper after probably the most weak seniors.
“We can not deal with seniors that reside in related congregative settings otherwise just because one website is government-funded and the opposite website is a non-public operator. Nor can we deal with a senior that resides in an assisted living group otherwise than the senior living in an independent living group,” Coonfer mentioned.
“The fears and issues of the seniors living in both of those communities are the identical they usually all deserve the identical therapy and a spotlight when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Coonfer mentioned he hopes the vaccine rollout additionally rapidly accommodates those seniors who could also be living in their very own properties, or in multi-generational households as properly.
Coonfer mentioned he had a name with B.C.’s provincial well being officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, on Friday to communicate concerning the difficulty.
He mentioned she assured him there’s a plan to tackle inoculating the remainder of B.C.’s seniors as equitably and rapidly as attainable and mentioned he left the assembly feeling rather more assured.
In the meantime, he mentioned his group is prepared to help wherever its wanted — whether or not that’s by figuring out workers and residents at independent living amenities or by driving seniors to vaccination websites.
“We’ll mobilize our group shuttle buses. We’ll do no matter it takes to get it executed and get it executed rapidly,” Coonfer mentioned.
“So they’re all vaccinated in a well timed style, so we are able to begin transferring ahead with this and getting out the opposite aspect more healthy and happier.”
Vaccinations are set to arrive in B.C. this week, with an preliminary cargo of about 4,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Those will likely be distributed to two websites in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health areas and will likely be administered to health-care employees in the long run care sector, and those working in COVID-19 wards, intensive care items and emergency departments.
“Our intense focus will likely be immunizing those round long-term care and immunizing those in long-term care,” provincial well being officer Dr. Bonnie Henry instructed a information convention final week.
When additional shipments arrive, the province has mentioned residents of long run care will likely be subsequent in line to obtain vaccinations, together with seniors over 80. Other teams will comply with based mostly on their vulnerability, and can embody folks in high-risk living circumstances, people who find themselves unhoused, and other people in remoted and distant Indigenous communities.
B.C. plans to have 400,000 thousand folks vaccinated by the top of March 2021.
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