While the coronavirus outbreak poses health risks for everyone, officials have made clear that the elderly are particularly vulnerable. At Big Hearts Homecare we prioritize the health and safety of both clients and workers. COVID-19 is a serious health threat and while the risk of transmission varies between communities, the risk to Canadians is still considered high. Big Hearts Homecare is following health and safety guidelines set by our provincial health authorities, the Centre for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization. These extra precautions include:
The health and safety of your loved ones is of paramount importance. We have seen many families express an interest in receiving care at home to limit the potential of infection. We hope that with these precautions we can dedicate a caregiver to serving your family, while following all health and safety guidelines set by our health authorities.
For more information about caring for the elderly without putting them at risk of COVID-19, please read the following interview with Charlotte Yeh, the chief medical officer at AARP:
How do you recommend elderly populations protect themselves against Covid-19?
Apart from following the general guidelines on regularly washing hands, avoiding crowds, and practicing social distancing, it is very important that the elderly think twice about having friends and family members visit them, especially if anyone in the family might be sick. Caregivers should practice extra precautions themselves and the family should have a backup plan to care for their loved one in case the caregiver gets sick. … Planning also helps reduce panic and anxiety, so communicate a care plan among family members. There should also be enough supplies [food and medication] in the house that can last for at least two weeks, or maybe more. In many cases, you can mail order the medication and use grocery delivery services, as ways to further protect the older adults in the family.
If the elderly have an annual checkup coming up, should they be concerned about going to the hospital?
It can vary by location and community based on how widespread cases of coronavirus are. In case one is concerned, they should call their physician and say, “I’m scheduled for an annual checkup. I’m otherwise feeling well and do not have any particular concerns. Is this something we can reschedule or postpone for later?” It is also helpful because, again, if there’s an outbreak in your particular community, health care workers are also very busy taking care of those who are ill. If you can handle anything on your own through conversation or through telehealth, it will be good for you and also for the health care worker.
How would you advise the elderly regarding travel?
Well, everyone is going to have their own risk tolerance, but if you’re of old age and have serious underlying health conditions, you should think twice about travel, particularly by airplane. I do not recommend cruise ships at this point, or traveling to go to events where there will be large crowds. This would be a time where people should take an abundance of precaution about travel.
Should people consider taking their elderly out of long-term care facilities?
The guidance is continuing to change day by day, as we learn more about how the virus is behaving in the community. In this case, I would urge the individuals to contact the care facility and find out about the precautions they have in place. There are infection control procedures that every nursing home has to follow, and [you can tell the care facility] that you want to be notified what they are. In certain states, where there is higher concentration of outbreaks, there is guidance from the state department of public health, which may vary by locality. Most importantly, if [the elderly] are already in the long-term care facility, you just want to verify that these facilities are following proper precautions. You have to balance the care that your elderly can get in a facility versus if you took them home, you might be able to provide that care. Keep a close eye on what is happening in your particular community and follow health guidance.
How can people stay connected with their elderly family members during a time of restrictions on visits?
Social connections are so important and this is a time where long-term facilities may be restricting visitors due to the risk of infection. But there are other ways of staying in touch. This is a time where we may go back to the old-fashioned ways of communication. This means making telephone calls more frequently. Don’t forget, there’s video conferencing available to use and sharing of photographs through social media, so you can stay in touch and not feel isolated or disconnected. There are captioned telephones for those who have documented hearing impairment. This is a free service. [Older adults] can ask people to talk more slowly, especially if you have a captioned telephone, so you can capture the entire conversation and read it at the same time as hearing it. Just because you can’t visit your loved ones doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected. There are delivery services for things like flowers and groceries, just to say I’m thinking of you. Don’t forget about mail. These days we forget that a handwritten card, a letter sent to your loved one, might give us a result. The nice part about it is that you can read it over and over again to remind yourself that people care about you.
How can the elderly stay active inside their home and keep themselves entertained?
Even if you are at home, you can walk in the hallways, and walk around your room. It is really important to not just sit or lie down all day. We need to move and get the blood flowing and it is good for overall health. Even small housework is a form of exercise. Secondly, maybe this is a good time to catch up on old movies. In fact, you could have your family watch the same movie on the same day and afterwards catch up and talk about the movie. This might also be a good time to do things that you always wanted to do but never had the time. How about learning a new language [online], and sending notes to your family? Maybe write a note to your grandchild.
What are some steps to take if someone is worried that they have been potentially exposed to Covid-19?
The important thing to know is that, if you are not sick but fear that you have been exposed to someone with the infection, you don’t have to go to a hospital to seek help. You can contact your physician. Ask them what [symptoms] to watch out for, and when should you consider being tested. Clearly, if you have a fever, a cough, shortness of breath, there is a risk that you do have coronavirus and that might be a circumstance where it is recommended that you get tested.
Seniors in BC who need help with the activities of daily living (such as bathing and dressing), as well as those who need assistance with the instrumental activities of daily living (such as preparing meals), have a number of options. Some seniors living in Vancouver choose to move into an assisted living facility where aides are available to help them with those tasks. Seniors who prefer to remain in their homes or to live with relatives can choose to get help from a service that provides homemakers and home health aides.
Homemaker and home health aide services send workers to the senior’s home. The assistance they provide allows seniors to maintain independence and a sense of dignity. Interaction with homemakers and aides often brightens a senior’s day and reduces feelings of loneliness. The services provided increase the senior’s comfort while reducing stress caused by their inability to take care of their own needs.
What services are provided?
Who are homemakers and home health aides?
How should seniors choose a homemaker and home health aide service?
How can seniors who receive services maximize their safety?
What services are provided?
Home health aides are sometimes called “personal care workers” or “home care attendants.” They provide “hands on” help with the activities of daily living. They may assist seniors with:
A home health aide might also help seniors manage their medications. An aide may be limited to reminding seniors to take their medications, or may be allowed to count or measure the correct dosage and hand that dosage to the senior.
Homemakers help seniors with the instrumental activities of daily living. Those are the daily tasks that require dexterity, mobility, or cognitive abilities that may be impaired by the process of aging. Examples of the services that homemakers might perform include:
In some cases, a single trained employee might be assigned to cover both the homemaker and the home health aide functions. Other services allocate tasks to different employees who receive different training.
Some homemaker and home health aide agencies take a “team” approach. They may assign a geriatric social worker to define and oversee the senior’s needs. For example, despite being homebound, some seniors maintain a social life by receiving regular visits from friends or family. Those seniors may not need additional companionship. Other seniors may be at risk of depression due to loneliness. When that is the case, a geriatric social worker might instruct a homemaker to spend additional time interacting with the senior.
Who are homemakers and home health aides?
Home health aides provide personal care services. Unlike visiting nurses who provide care for a specific health condition, home health aides are not licensed. Personal care services are classified as “nonmedical” services that do not require professional licensing. Many services have nurses on staff who supervise home health aides, but the supervision is not regularly provided in the senior’s home.
The training required for the position of home health aide varies by province. While all provinces offer certification of home health aides, they do not all require home health aides to be certified. Some only require the employing agency to be certified and leave it to the agency to decide upon the training and certification requirements of their employees. An agency employee who provides only homemaker services is typically not subject to any certification requirement.
Not all homemakers or home health aides work for services. Some work independently. They may charge lower rates than homemakers and aides provided by agencies, but they may not be bonded or insured. Since they work without supervision and may not be as well trained as an agency employee, seniors need to give careful thought to whether the cost savings of hiring a private homemaker or aide outweighs the advantages of hiring a service.
After you are satisfied that the employees of a service are properly trained, ask these questions:
You should also ask for a list of references. Contact those references to make sure that the service has satisfied its clients in the past. You might also obtain recommendations from social workers employed by the medical clinic you visit and from local government agencies or nonprofit organizations in your community that work with the elderly or that specialize in healthcare issues.
How can seniors who receive services maximize their safety?
Before you hire any homemaker or home health aide service, confirm that it screens employees before they are hired to assure that they do not have a criminal record. You also want to be sure that the service conducts periodic criminal record checks of employees during the course of their employment.
While crimes committed by homemakers and home health aides against their clients are not common, the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Theft and physical abuse are always a potential risk. Seniors should be encouraged to tell children, other relatives, or friends about any suspicion they have concerning a homemaker’s or health aide’s misconduct. Children and others who regularly visit a senior should also be alert for evidence of physical or psychological abuse. The police should be alerted if abuse is suspected or if property is missing after a visit by a homemaker or home health aide.
Other risks to seniors include:
Big Hearts Homecare can help you care for the needs of your loved ones. Give us a call at (778) 788-5578 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to help you get started!
When it comes time to take care of your elderly loved ones, you want to be sure that they are handled with care, love, and patience. While it may be stressful at times, you must also keep in mind that it is not easy for them to become dependent on you or others for their care. It is important that you become familiar with ways to provide them with the best care possible.
It is important to visit them often. They need the social interaction with you and you get the reassurance that they are safe, healthy and in general, doing well. During your visit, it’s always best to check around the house for any issues that may need to be addressed such as the overall cleanliness of the house or if anything is broken that may need to be fixed. Also, do a routine check of their food supply, laundry, mail, and plants. If you get busy, Big Hearts Homecare can do routine checks on your loved one.
Be sure that they are appropriately supplied with their medications. It is important that all their prescriptions are filled and refilled as needed. If they are on a number of medications, it is best to buy a pill box organizer with compartments labeled with the days of the week as well as AM and PM doses. This can help simplify their medication taking process. Also, if a new medication is prescribed, be sure to ask the doctor or pharmacist about potential side effects or possible interactions with current medications.
There may be a need to hire a helper, aide or caretaker. This could be someone who helps your loved one with their daily activities such as showering, errands or housekeeping. If it isn’t someone you know personally, then you should always check references or go through a licensed agency. This may need to be a budgeted expense or it may be a resource that is available for a nominal fee or for free depending on if your loved one qualifies.
It is best to take a good look around their home and assess what may be a safety hazard. Some may be simple fixes while other modifications may be more involved. These include:
Most times your elderly loved ones are not comfortable or willing to talk about their finances. But you must try to have open discussions about their finances, especially if they live on a fixed income or there is a budget to be adhered to.
Make sure everything is up-to-date and completed when it comes to their important paperwork such as their will or power of attorney. It is not an easy conversation but it is essential. Once the task is done, it will give you both peace of mind.
There may come a time when your loved one may no longer be able to drive due to their declining cognitive abilities and reaction time while on the road. It is important to assess their driving abilities and when it does become an issue, offer other options that may help such as hiring a driver or using a delivery service for groceries.
It is important to keep your elderly loved one active and involved. Exercise is important to keep them healthy. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for the elderly to become isolated and lonely or even suffer from depression especially if they have lost their spouse. It is important that they remain involved with their family and friends or they may even want to venture out and make new friends. There are many resources in your community that offer things to do and places to go that will help your loved one stay social and active.
Your loved one may not have the ability or desire to cook for themselves. It is important that they are well fed in order to stay healthy. You can prepare meals in advance for them. You can check into Meals on Wheels to see if they qualify. There are also many other deliverable meal plan options that your loved one may enjoy. Some of these meal plans can even accommodate special requests such as diabetic meals.
If you are somewhat tech savvy, you can install a camera or type of motion sensor to keep watch over them or that will alert you if something is wrong. A Life Alert system is another option but you must convince them to wear the alert button at all times.
It is best to try to arrange a schedule between you and other family members to help your elderly loved one when it comes to bathing, doctor appointments, errands, shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. If necessary, you may need to hire someone to help with some of those tasks and they will also need to be incorporated into the schedule. A schedule will not only help keep your life structured and organized, but it will help your loved one know what’s on their agenda as well.
There are many resources available for the elderly. These resources may be through the government or community-based. Do your research and see what your loved one qualifies for and how it could benefit them. You may be surprised at what’s available.
You must remain healthy in order to take care of anyone else. Those who take care of their elders have been found to suffer from stress, anxiety, depression and musculoskeletal disorders. If possible, divide the responsibilities between you, your spouse and other family members. It is important that you don’t forget to take breaks, get away a bit and enjoy your life as well.
If you need support doing any of the aforementioned tasks, contact Big Hearts Homecare at 778.788.5578 or email us at email@example.com
(Edited from Seniors Love to Know)
If you have a life-threatening condition or a serious illness, palliative care can:
This type of treatment can involve:
These services can be appropriate for people of all ages. They aim to make you and your loved ones feel as comfortable as possible. This can be done through personalized treatment plans that meet your needs and those of your family.
Information and support on palliative and end-of-life care, loss and grief can also be found at the Canadian Virtual Hospice.
Palliative care can address suffering experienced in all areas of your life. Because of this, a diverse team can be involved in providing palliative care. The team may include:
The type of care team and level of training they receive can vary across the country.
Palliative care can be provided in a variety of settings, such as:
While hospitals are designed to address severe and urgent needs, they may not be the best location for comfortable end-of-life care. Also, delivery of and access to palliative and hospice care varies across Canada. This is due to differences in:
There is no single national palliative care program. This is why governments and health care institutions are developing better models of palliative care in Canada where:
To find out more about Palliative Care in Vancouver, speak to Big Hearts Homecare by calling us at (778) 788-5578 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also contact the national palliative care association or the palliative care association in your province or territory:
On December 12, 2017, the federal government passed a bill calling for the Minister of Health to create a framework for palliative care in Canada. The Act (formerly, Bill C-277) says that the Minister must develop a framework that will support improved access to palliative care across Canada. The Minister must also consult with provinces, territories and palliative care providers. The Act says the framework should focus on important issues facing palliative care, including:
On December 4, 2018, the Minister of Health tabled the Framework on Palliative Care in Canada in Parliament. The Framework reflects the voices of the many Canadians heard throughout the consultations. It presents a common Vision and Guiding Principles, as well as short, medium and long term goals related to each of the important issues mentioned above. The Framework also includes priorities identified through the consultations; these are actions that any individual or organization can use in their palliative care policy and program planning. The Framework represents a guideline for all palliative care stakeholders to use to improve access across Canada.
Learn more about the Act providing for the development of a framework on palliative care in Canada.
The Action Plan on Palliative Care (Action Plan) lays out Health Canada’s five-year plan to tackle issues uncovered through the development of the Framework on Palliative Care in Canada. It includes specific activities to enhance access, quality of care, and health care system performance, within the federal government’s mandate and levers for action. It also complements current support to provinces and territories under the Common Statement of Principles on Shared Health Priorities.
Health Canada is overseeing and coordinating implementation of the Action Plan, connecting governments and stakeholders and serving as a knowledge centre to share best practices.
(Source: Government of Canada Webpage)
Your loved one is getting discharged from the hospital, so what is next?
This Fact Sheet will look at the keys to a successful transition from hospital to home, explain some important elements, offer suggestions for improving the process, and provide caregivers with checklists to help ensure the best care for a loved one. If you are a caregiver, you play an essential role in this discharge process: you are the advocate for the patient and for yourself.
Discharge planning is “a process used to decide what a patient needs for a smooth move from one level of care to another.” In general, the basics of a discharge plan are:
The discussion needs to include the physical condition of your family member both before and after hospitalization; details of the types of care that will be needed; and whether discharge will be to a facility or home. It also should include information on whether the patientʼs condition is likely to improve; what activities he or she might need help with; information on medications and diet; what extra equipment might be needed, such as a wheelchair, commode, or oxygen; who will handle meal preparation, transportation and chores; and possibly referral to home care services.
Effective discharge planning can decrease the chances that your relative is readmitted to the hospital, and can also help in recovery, ensure medications are prescribed and given correctly, decrease healthcare costs, and adequately prepare you to take over your loved oneʼs care.
Not all hospitals are successful in this. Additionally, patients are released from hospitals “quicker and sicker” than in the past, making it even more critical to arrange for good care after release.
Even simple measures help immensely. For example, you should have a telephone number(s) accessible 24 hours a day, including weekends, for care information. A follow-up appointment to see the doctor should be arranged before your loved one leaves the hospital. Since errors with medications are frequent and potentially dangerous, a thorough review of all medications should be an essential part of discharge planning.
The discharge staff will not be familiar with all aspects of your relativeʼs situation. As caregiver, you are the “expert” in your loved oneʼs history. While you may not be a medical expert, if youʼve been a caregiver for a long time, you certainly know a lot about the patient and about your own abilities to provide care and a safe home setting.
The discharge planners should discuss with you your willingness and ability to provide care. You may have physical, financial, or other limitations that affect your caregiving capabilities. You may have other obligations such as a job or childcare that impact the time you have available. It is extremely important to tell hospital discharge staff about those limitations.
Some of the care your loved one needs might be quite complicated. It is essential that you get any training you need in special care techniques, such as wound, feeding tube or catheter care, procedures for a ventilator, or transferring someone from bed to chair.
If your loved one has memory problems caused by Alzheimerʼs disease, stroke, or another disorder, discharge planning becomes more complicated, and you will need to be a part of all discharge discussions. You may need to remind the staff about special care and communication techniques needed by your loved one. Even without impaired memory, older people often have hearing or vision problems or are disoriented when they are in the hospital, so that these conversations are difficult to comprehend. They need your help.
We suggest you keep the questions summarized below (on pages 5–6 of the printout) with you, and request that the discharge planner take the time to review them with you.
Listed below are common care responsibilities you may be handling for your family member after he or she returns home:
Community organizations can help with services such as transportation, meals, support groups, counseling, and possibly a break from your care responsibilities to allow you to rest and take care of yourself.
If you need to hire paid in-home help, you have some decisions to make. Unfortunately, these hiring decisions are often made in a hurry during hospital discharge. You might be handed a list of agencies, with instructions to decide which to use—but often without further information. This is another good reason discharge planning should start early—as caregiver, youʼll have time to research your options while your loved one is cared for in the hospital.
Think about both your needs as a caregiver and the needs of the person you are caring for, including language and cultural background.
You have a choice between hiring an individual directly or going through a home care or home health care agency. Part of that decision may be affected by whether the help will be “medically necessary” i.e., prescribed by the doctor, and therefore paid for by insurance. In that case, they will most likely determine the agency you use. In making your decisions, consider the following: home care agencies take care of all the paperwork for taxes and salary, substitutes will be available if the worker is sick, and you may have access to a broader range of skills. On the other hand, there may be a more personal relationship if you hire an individual directly, and the cost is likely to be lower. In either case, try to get recommendations for hiring from acquaintances, nurses, social workers, and others familiar with your situation. Big Hearts Homecare can help your loved one once they are discharged from the hospital and need post-surgery care.
You might not be aware that insurance does not pay for all services after a patient has been discharged from the hospital. However, if something is determined by the doctor to be “medically necessary,” you may be able to get coverage for certain skilled care or equipment. You will need to check directly with the hospital or your insurer to find out what might be covered and what you will have to pay for. Keep careful records of your conversations.
If you donʼt agree that your loved one is ready for discharge, you have the right to appeal the decision. Your first step is to talk with the physician and discharge planner and express your reservations. If that isnʼt enough, you will need to contact your insurance company.
Multiple studies have explored the importance of effective discharge planning and transitional care, and have highlighted the very real benefits in improved patient outcomes and lower rehospitalization rates. Several pilot programs have illustrated those benefits, but until healthcare financing systems are changed to support such innovations in care, they will remain unavailable to many people. Caregivers, patients, and advocates are continuing their efforts to alter our healthcare system to make discharge planning a priority. With our graying population, these changes are ever more necessary.
* Adapted from the Family Caregiver Alliance website
It’s normal for people to experience some foot problems as they age. But experts say that problems with feet can be the first sign of more serious medical conditions, particularly among older adults. Health problems, such as arthritis, diabetes, nerve issues, and circulatory disorders, may first be manifested in the feet. That is why it is important to pay attention to your feet and seek medical attention as soon as you notice a problem. Big Hearts Homecare provides foot care for seniors in Vancouver.
Healthy feet play an important role in overall good health and wellness. We help our clients achieve optimal foot health with preventative care, ongoing assessment and treatment from our professional staff. Our Foot Care services are provided by nurses with specialized education. There many benefits of Foot Care include:
Here are some foot care tips for older adults:
Contact Big Hearts Homecare today by calling us at 778-788-5578 or emailing us at email@example.com
As we age, certain everyday activities become difficult. We may not be able to perform easy tasks such as cooking, cleaning and even bathing.
Safety also becomes a concern as we get older. Besides forgetting to take our daily cocktail of medications, we may have trouble getting out of bed, or we could slip and fall and become severely injured.
If you or your loved one needs everyday assistance, you have many care options available. Do you hire a home care worker or do you opt for a residency in a long term care centre? Are home care service companies in Vancouver going to deliver you the quality of care you need?
Pros of using home care:
Cons of using home care:
Pros of long term residential care:
Cons of long term residential care:
If you’re looking to make a choice for yourself or your elderly family members, contact us today. We’ll help you choose the best option for your loved one.
(Source article here)
Alzheimer’s disease causes brain cells to die, so the brain works less well over time. This changes how a person acts. Big Hearts Home Care can help you deal with your loved one’s condition and here we provide you with suggestions on coping with Alzheimer’s disease.
Common personality and behaviour changes you may see include:
– Getting upset, worried, and angry easily
– Acting depressed or not interested in things
– Hiding things or believing other people are hiding things
– Imagining things that aren’t there
– Wandering away from home
– Pacing a lot
– Showing unusual sexual behaviour
– Hitting you or other people
– Misunderstanding what he or she sees or hears
You also may notice that the person stops caring about how he or she looks, stops bathing, and wants to wear the same clothes every day.
In addition to changes in the brain, other things may affect how people with Alzheimer’s behave:
– Feelings such as sadness, fear, stress, confusion, or anxiety
– Health-related problems, including illness, pain, new medications, or lack of sleep
– Other physical issues like infections, constipation, hunger or thirst, or problems seeing or hearing
Other problems in their surroundings may affect behaviour for a person with Alzheimer’s disease. Too much noise, such as TV, radio, or many people talking at once can cause frustration and confusion. Stepping from one type of flooring to another or the way the floor looks may make the person think he or she needs to take a step down. Mirrors may make them think that a mirror image is another person in the room.
If you don’t know what is causing the problem, call the doctor. It could be caused by a physical or medical issue.
Caregivers cannot stop Alzheimer’s-related changes in personality and behaviour, but they can learn to cope with them. Here are some tips:
– Keep things simple. Ask or say one thing at a time.
– Have a daily routine, so the person knows when certain things will happen.
– Reassure the person that he or she is safe and you are there to help.
– Focus on his or her feelings rather than words. For example, say, “You seem worried.”
– Don’t argue or try to reason with the person.
– Try not to show your frustration or anger. If you get upset, take deep breaths and count to 10. If it’s safe, leave the room for a few minutes.
– Use humour when you can.
– Give people who pace a lot a safe place to walk. Provide comfortable, sturdy shoes. Give them light snacks to eat as they walk, so they don’t lose too much weight, and make sure they have enough to drink.
– Try using music, singing, or dancing to distract the person.
– Ask for help. For instance, say, “Let’s set the table” or “I need help folding the clothes.”
Talk with the person’s doctor about problems like hitting, biting, depression, or hallucinations. Medications are available to treat some behavioural symptoms.
(Adapted this article from,
Summer is most Vancouverites’ favorite season. When the sun shines on Vancouver, there’s no prettier place on earth, and locals make the most of the summer months—June, July, and August—with tons of festivals, parties, outdoor adventures, and more.
Canada Day, celebrated on July 1, is always a massive party in the city, with free events popping up across Metro Vancouver. The patriotic flair of the celebrations at Granville Island are incredibly festive (who doesn’t love the Truly Canadian Pancake Breakfast?), plus all the street festivals, parades, and fireworks. There’s also Surrey’s Canada Day outdoor concerts—the biggest Canada Day celebration in all of western Canada.
June through August in Vancouver is the season for festivals, and some of the year’s biggest and best music and multicultural events happen at this time of year. Vancouver’s International Jazz Festival is held each year at the end of June, while the Vancouver Folk Music Festival typically takes place each July.
Asian-style night markets are a summer tradition in the Lower Mainland. There are two great night markets to visit: the Richmond Night Market and the Shipyards Night Market in North Vancouver. The Richmond market is a must-see; it features over 300 vendors, fantastic food (pork shumai, Osaka balls, hurricane potatoes, and snow-cones, at the same time) and live entertainment, that attracts nightly crowds of thousands.
If there is one event that defines summer in Vancouver, it’s the Celebration of Light international fireworks competition: three nights of the best fireworks displays you’ve ever seen. Lighting up the sky over English Bay in incredible color compositions, the annual event, typically help late July through early August, has become one of the most prestigious fireworks competitions in the world.
With its white bottom and turquoise water and its spectacular views—of the ocean, the mountains, Kits Beach, and the Vancouver skyline glittering across English Bay—Kits Pool, open mid-May through mid-September, is a vacation destination unto itself. Just stepping through the gates feels like an escape and many Vancouverites will tell you that summer wouldn’t be summer without a swim in this pool!
With the gorgeous summer weather comes lots of outdoor theatre and concerts: There’s the Theatre Under the Stars in Stanley Park and the Enchanted Evenings Concert Series at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden. Among the best, however, is the Shakespeare festival Bard on Beach, which stages plays in open-backed tents in Vanier Park. The northern mountains and glory of English Bay become the plays’ backdrop. What could be more dramatic than that?
Stanley Park may be a tourist destination—it attracts 8 million visitors a year—but it’s also cherished by locals, especially in the summer months. When the sun shines, there’s nothing better than biking or walking the scenic Seawall or hiking the 16 miles of forest trails. The Stanley Park Gardens are also a summer must-see!
If there’s one summer tradition that can bring out the kid in anyone, it’s the annual Fair at the PNE. Cotton candy, mini donuts, Playland rides, farm animals, live performers like Superdogs, and the nightly concert series make this end-of-summer extravaganza one of the best family events of the season.
Take a quick trip to Langley where you can spend an entire day picking blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries at the 200-acre Krause Berry Farm. Even if picking berries yourself isn’t your thing, the family-run farm has tons of fresh fruit for sale, as well as pies, jams, jellies, and more. It’s a great outing for little ones, who can take tractor train rides or simply enjoy spending time outside.
British Columbia is home to a vast array of hot springs, which can make for the perfect summer day or weekend trip from Vancouver. Halcyon Hot Springs, in Nakusp, is among the most popular, featuring breath-taking views and mineral-rich waters that are supposedly healing. There are also chalet-style homes that you can rent.
If you love beer, get thee to Brewer’s Row, a tiny Vancouver street filled with local breweries. Murray Street, right across from Vancouver’s Rocky Point Park, has four small breweries that are open to visitors for tastings and tours, making it a great way to spend the afternoon. Start your day at Yellow Dog, before moving on to Moody Ales, Twin Sails, and Murray Street’s newest addition Parkside Brewing.
This modern flea market features more than 50 vendors selling vintage clothing, collectibles, plants, and artisanal food. If shopping isn’t your thing, the flea’s organizers also invite food trucks and local DJs to turn the event into a veritable party. The flea typically takes place every weekend and moved to Eastside Studios in fall 2018.
For more than a decade, Stanley Park has hosted its Summer Cinema series on Tuesday nights. Movies start right after sunset and mostly include family favorites like Mean Girls, The Lion King, and Grease. Admission is free, but you’ll want to bring a lawn chair or picnic blanket.
A newer event on Vancouver’s summer calendar, the massive Vancouver Water Fight has already become tremendously popular. Held in mid-August, the great water war takes place at the Lumberman’s Arch at Stanley Park. Bring your bathing suits, water guns, and water balloons.
If you want to spend a day outside, head to Deep Cove, a seaside village on the Eastern edge of Vancouver. The cove has great hikes and is a tranquil spot to go kayaking. The Deep Cove Kayak Centre will rent out kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes, and also offers lessons.
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performs a free outdoor concert each year at Deer Lake Park. The lineup typically includes classics from Tchaikovsky and other renowned composers as well as contemporary favorites, like the score from Star Wars.