IERHA advises seasonal residents of limited home care resources

Photo: IERHA CEO, Ron Van Denakker

Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority advises that due to response to the COVID-19 pandemic home care resources may not be available to seasonal residents entering the region for the summer. Resources were shifted in program areas to accommodate requirements under the Public Health Act due to COVID-19 and the home care program is just now starting to resume service delivery.

“Our health region’s population always grows in the summer months. This summer, our focus is on the resumption of priority services for permanent residents as we move into the next phase of our response to the pandemic,” says Interlake-Eastern RHA chief executive officer, Ron Van Denakker. “Once those services are up and running, we will be in a position to consider operational ability to support care for seasonal residents where possible.”

Home care case coordinators will consider requests from seasonal residents on a case-by-case basis. They will not be able to accommodate all requests.

If home care services are provided, they may not be at the same level of care/service provided in prior years, adds director of home care services for Interlake-Eastern RHA, Karen Wood.

“Cottagers are advised to contact their current case coordinator who can provide more information on what can be done for them,” Wood says.

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s acting director of palliative and home care services, Jennifer Spencer says Winnipeggers should be aware of the situation before arriving in cottage country.

“Clients are encouraged to check with home care prior to making any travel or relocation plans.  In Winnipeg, clients can be assured that home care teams continue to work with all home care clients to address their ongoing needs,” Spencer said.

If Manitobans do choose to travel to summer residences, they would have to arrange for their own care if their seasonal RHA is unable to accommodate their request.

Van Denakker adds that it is important for all summer visitors to stay home if they are ill and to practice physical distancing and frequent handwashing if they do have to go out into public. If medical care is needed, Interlake-Eastern RHA’s hospitals and emergency departments and provincial emergency response services are available.

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