The province has awarded a contract to build outdoor visitation spaces at personal care homes across Manitoba, and they’re expected to be operational by November.
PCL Constructgors Canada Inc. will develop and build the all-season shelters for personal care homes.
They’ve been given just under $18 million from the province to do so.
The shelters are described as single-use shipping containers, repurposed and fitted for a finished visiting space, said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen Tuesday.
“Visitors will enter the visiting room from the outside of the personal care home, while an enclosed link will ensure residents have direct access from the personal care home. Electrical and mechanical systems have been designed to ensure each shelter is functional all year round. In keeping with public health guidelines, systems will be in place to provide required air changes and interior finishes will allow easy cleaning.”
Five visitors will be allowed in the shelter at any one time.
“This is an agressive timeline, some would say an impossible timeline,” said Friesen, of the expectation the shelters be done in the next two months.
But Friesen said he believes it can be done.
Jan Legeros, executive director of the Long Term and Continuing Care Association, told 680 CJOB that while there are still questions, the shelters will be important for seniors and their families — especially in the winter months.
“Social isolation has very significant effects on our seniors, so we need to establish that contact in some way — but it has to be a very safe way,” said Legeros.
Legeros told 680 CJOB there will be a lot of considerations, as Manitoba is home to 127 personal care homes, and that some of the logistical challenges that will have to be worked out include minimizing the time seniors spend in the elements en route to see visitors.
“I’m hoping that many of the personal care homes will be able to assign an indoor space that can be used that’s near an entry door so that visitors can go directly through the entry door into this special space.”