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Saskatchewan Health eases restrictions on compassionate care visitations

The Saskatchewan Health Authority has eased restrictions on compassionate care visits in their facilities.

Health officials have opened compassionate care visits for people with family in intensive or critical care. Two family members or support-persons will now be allowed to attend to someone at a time. This is also extended for palliative care.

For people in long term care, the SHA says quality of life considerations will now be used, in addition to care needs, to determine if these needs cannot be met without the support of a designated family member or support person. In these situations, two family members or support-persons will also be allowed.

The health body is also clarifying some existing rules. One family member or support person is allowed to be with inpatient, outpatient and emergency or urgent care patients who have challenges with compromised comprehension or decision making due to disability or onset of a medical condition.

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This could include mobility, speech, vision or hearing issues, language barriers, mental or intellectual disabilities and memory concerns. With these new guidelines, the SHA explains, outdoor visits are no longer limited to one person. The health authority says they will also be providing masks, that must be worn for the entire visit to any SHA facilities.

CEO Scott Livingstone says they will be continuing to spend the coming weeks and months finding the balance between the physical safety, mental health and well being of their patients.

The SHA has also opened a Family Presence Expert Panel, which uses patient and family advisors, along with public health and Infection Prevention and Control experts, to provide plans on recommendations to support family presence during COVID-19.

A full list of the new guidelines can be found on the Government of Saskatchewan website.

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