Burnaby retirement home invents ‘meeting centres’ for safe family visits

A retirement home in Burnaby has brought in a pre-fabricated “meeting centre” so families can visit with seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, visitors are not allowed at care homes, assisted living facilities and retirement homes to prevent outbreaks that have been seen across Canada.

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Mulberry PARC Retirement Living in Burnaby has brought in a free-standing, pod-like building that has been created and placed in close proximity to the residences.

It has two clearly marked separate entrances for residents and their visitors. PARC residents can reserve the centre for a visit with up to two family members.

Inside is a comfortable, air-conditioned lounge atmosphere with a Plexiglass shield that divides the interior space into two discrete halves to maintain social distancing.

mulberry parc burnaby seniors care home covid-19
Mulberry PARC Retirement Living in Burnaby has brought in a free-standing, pod-like building that has been created and placed in close proximity to the residences. Photo submitted

Residents enter one half at a ramped entrance at the end of the unit, while visitors access the other half through their own walk-up entrance. 

A PARC host assigned to each centre will fully sanitize chairs, the Plexiglass and other high-touch areas before and after every visit, and ensure hand sanitizer is supplied and replenished for residents and guests.

“We’re pleased to have pioneered this idea and it’s a concept that could well be emulated by other seniors’ residences,” said Tony Baena, president and CEO of PARC Retirement Living, in a news release. “With no vaccine for COVID-19 on the immediate horizon, and our residents being in the age cohort most at risk, it became clear that normal visits inside our residences couldn’t resume anytime soon. Our management team decided it was crucial to quickly find a way to somehow allow the resumption of face-to-face visits with family members, but it had to be in a safe, socially-distanced manner.”

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