The dominant narrative through the pandemic focused on the perils associated with the transmission of COVID-19. This led to restrictive policies in long-term care that prevented family caregivers from being physically present to participate in their loved ones' care. There is growing evidence that such policies resulted in harm to residents, family members and staff. The path forward highlights the need for balanced policies and practices to ensure that compassionate, person-centred and partnered care is not lost, whether in times of calm or crisis.