Recently, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced an easing of visitation restrictions in Long Term Care homes. This is wonderful news as Easter, Passover, and Ramadan approach, and if you have a loved one living in Long Term Care, you will hear more from those homes directly about their protocols. Unfortunately, Dr. Henry’s announcement does not apply to our sector, as we are not in Long Term Care.
We are not able to ease our restrictions on family visits indoors at group homes, or at the homes of Shared Living Caregivers, at this time. Each visit holds unique risks for the residents of the home and staff/Caregivers. We must continue to follow public health directives for our sector, and we will continue to consider each visitation request with the health and safety of everyone involved in mind.
The main reason for this difference, is that the staff and residents in Long Term Care received their first vaccination months ago, whereas those living and working in our licensed group homes were just vaccinated or became eligible for vaccination within the past three weeks. Those in Long Term Care have had time to build up their immunity. They also continue to have a variety of other protective layers in place.
The vaccination roll-out to persons served and staff in the community living sector has varied from one health region to another. We have almost completed the process of vaccinating all persons served who live in licensed homes, while their staff continue to go through the process. However, our Shared Living Caregivers have not yet become eligible.
The best news we received this week is that all persons served receiving CLBC-funded services have become eligible for vaccination! Community Living BC will be issuing letters with instructions on how to secure an appointment in the health authority where you live within the next two weeks. They have asked that we advise all individuals and families to please wait for this letter before attempting to book an appointment.
If you’d like to learn more, join a call on Tuesday, March 30 at 1pm. You’ll have an opportunity to hear about the latest health and vaccine information and guidance on COVID-19 from Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, as well as other updates from Ross Chilton, CEO of CLBC. Find call-in details here. For other news updates, please keep reading. We have lots to share!
Vinita Prasad, Program Director
Vaccine Priority for People Who Are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
This week, the Ministry of Health released information regarding the COVID-19 vaccination prioritization for persons identified as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV). This includes persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities supported by the following programs:
- Community Supports for Independent Living (CSIL)
- Community Living British Columbia (CLBC)
- Nursing Support Services program for youth aged 16 to 19
People aged 16 to 74 years old who are eligible will receive a letter in the mail with information on how to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointment. Those who receive the letter can book an appointment for themselves or have a family member or friend call for them, beginning Monday, March 29 at noon.
Visit gov.bc.ca/cevcovid to read the full list of eligibility requirements.
CLBC Teleconference Update
Self-advocates and families are invited to join Community Living BC next Tuesday, March 30 for an opportunity to hear from Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, about the latest health and vaccine information and guidance on COVID-19. Participants will also hear an update from Ross Chilton, CEO of CLBC. Find call-in details here.
Affordable Housing Workshop
Saturday, May 1, 2021 from 10 – 11:30 am
Have you ever wondered what BC Housing can do for adults with developmental disabilities? Join Meaghen Taylor-Reid, a Navigator with the Ministry of Child and Family Development, for an affordable housing workshop on Saturday, May 1. Meaghen will show you how to set up a profile with BC Housing for your family member and access the BC Housing Registry.
To register, email your name and phone number to [email protected] by Wednesday, April 28. You will receive a Zoom link for the meeting. For more information or for technical support, contact Rachel Goddyn at 778-386-4046.
Staying Connected with Self-Advocates
Across BC, self-advocate led groups are keeping people connected through conversations and shared activities. Self-advocates have stepped up to share their talents, offer mental health support, and connect with others over shared interests like games and movies. Get a closer look at some of their weekly social activities and upcoming special events! Read the blog here.
Spirituality, Art and Community Exhibition
The “Spirituality, Art & Community” exhibition organized by Outsiders & Others gallery in collaboration with posAbilities and Christ Church Cathedral opens on March 27. A collection of works by self-taught artists will be on display in the windows of the Cathedral’s Park Room from March 27 to May 2. You can also view the exhibition online at outsidersandothers.com.
To learn more about the exhibition and one of its artists, painter Andi G-Dub, check out this blog post on the Christ Church Cathedral website.
Thank you for reading!