In this age of COVID-19, rules and recommendations for the visitation of seniors keep changing, and that’s true also for assisted-living communities. Furthermore, each province has slightly different guidelines for visitation.

So, if you are wanting to visit someone over the holidays, here are our recommendations:

Plan Ahead

The most important message here is to call ahead and speak to a staff member at whatever assisted-living community you want to visit. Ask what their current policies are because these policies are changing weekly and monthly.

Get Vaccinated

Many assisted-living communities in Alberta are requiring proof of vaccination to enter the premises. If you have not been vaccinated yet, now is a good time. Over six billion doses of vaccine have already been given worldwide, and shots are readily available if you haven’t had one. Some communities—but not all—will make an exception for unvaccinated individuals who can show proof of a recent COVID test provided those persons follow special rules once inside.

Prepare for a Screening

Be prepared that someone will meet you at the door and ask you some questions. This is also true for doctor and dentist appointments and when you go to the hospital for any reason.

Use Common Sense

Obviously, delay or reschedule your trip if you don’t feel well. If you have or have recently had a fever, cough, or any cold symptoms, stay away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Seniors are more vulnerable to disease than younger adults.

Bring Masks

You will likely be asked to wear a mask the whole time you are inside. None of us enjoy this, but it’s the new normal. Make sure you bring at least one mask.

If these rules feel unpleasant, then you can always meet by video conferencing on a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. It’s easy to set up, free, and a big group of family members or friends can meet together, just like many of us do regularly for work. What’s important is to remember your friends and family in assisted-living environments, and keep in close touch with them over the holidays.


The Hamlets at Red Deer, located in Red Deer, Alberta, is at the forefront in the provision of services for those suffering from dementia in an assisted-living environment. The Hamlets at Red Deer has values based on tenets of Christianity and is committed to helping residents attain the highest physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about our Red Deer community, please call us at (403) 986-1250.