The Ontario government's guidelines restricting essential caregivers and support persons has increased social isolation, and negatively impacted the mental, emotional, physical health and well-being of residents in congregate care settings.
We are pushing the government to immediately implement a COVID-19 Essential Caregiver Plan which would:
Recognize that essential caregivers (often family members and support persons) are more than just visitors, and that individuals have the right to access their essential caregivers in their agreed upon, preferred manner
Ensure that the provincial government cannot unilaterally develop policies regarding access to essential caregivers, and must consult residents, patients, families, experts and workers when developing new policies
Ensure that individuals cannot be prevented from accessing their essential caregiver(s), including during the state of emergency or the pandemic (COVID-19), while giving congregate settings the resources they need to safely implement this
Includes a strategy that stabilizes staffing in congregate care settings and ensures the role of essential caregivers is to supplement care and support.