New Westminster care home transforms shipping container for family visits

Feb 1 2021, 9:43 am

A long-term care home in New Westminster has found a unique way to allow for private, yet physically distanced visits between residents and their families.

A renovated shipping container has been set up at the Queen’s Park Care Centre, allowing families to visit in a safe, private manner.

queen's park care centre

A renovated shipping container at Queen’s Park Care Centre in New Westminster (Fraser Health).

The shipping container is heated and furnished and includes separate entrances for residents and families. A clear plexiglass divider is used to keep the users separated and there’s no contact outside the container before or after the visit.

Families can book private visits, as long as COVID-19 outbreak restrictions aren’t in effect.

They’ll also have to follow measures such as wearing a mask and sanitizing their hands, completing a COVID-19 screening form and undergoing a temperature check, and using the visitor entrance and exit.

queen's park care centre

The interior of the shipping container at Queen’s Park Care Centre (Fraser Health).

“Up until now, families wishing to visit their loved one together could do so via a window visit, where a health care worker brings a resident to a window at a specified time for a visit,” explains a statement from Fraser Health.

“The visitor centre is an alternative to window visits, providing a dry, warm place to have a window visit with residents and patients.”

Elizabeth Kelly, Executive Director for the Queen’s Park Healthcare Foundation, says that the idea renovated shipping container came from staff at the care centre and was backed by a $25,000 federal grant.

Window visits and virtual visits will also continue for larger groups.

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