Dear LTC Families:

We expect that many of our LTC families will be aware of a change in short-stay and temporary absences for long-term care home residents announced late on Friday, August 28, 2020. The Ministry of Long-Term Care issued a news release reinstating short-stay and temporary absences, which were paused in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fundamentally, this announcement means that residents will be able to spend time away from their long-term care homes for day trips or overnight absences.

The Ministry of Long-Term Care documents define short-stay absences as those where the resident leaves the home’s property for health care-related appointments, visits with family or to run errands. Temporary absences can include one or more nights away from the LTC home for personal reasons and approval of these absences are at the discretion of the LTC home.

St. Joseph’s received no prior notification of this important change and we are working through the details of the reinstatement of these absences and what the change means for each of the 240 residents we serve and their families.

This is an important step that will enable residents to resume well-loved activities outside of the health centre and spend time with their loved ones. However, we want to ensure we approach this change with the same care and caution we have taken throughout the pandemic, with the appropriate infection prevention measures that will help ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.

We ask for your continued patience and support as we work out the details in these significant changes over the next few days and implement processes that will enable residents to leave St. Joseph’s for short-stay and temporary absences and return to the health centre safely.


David Wormald, President


Signed statement:
2020.08.31 – Reinstatement of LTC Short-Stay and Temp Absences