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Caring from a Distance: using new and familiar means of keeping in touch with family and friends in care homes during COVID-19

The closure of care homes to visitors in response to the coronavirus pandemic means that many people have been unable to visit family and friends living in care homes. For many people this means they may have tried using new ways to keep in touch while they are apart. While this time has been challenging it also provides a chance to find out what works well when visits to care homes are not possible. This information can help carers in the future who are unable to visit their family or friends in care homes as often as they would like (for example, carers who live a long way away, who are ill, also care for other people) as well as help care homes to support contact between residents, their families and friends. This research project is about people’s experiences of keeping in touch with families and friends while care homes have been closed to visitors. It asks about things that have worked well and helped them stay in touch, as well as things that did not work well. If you are aged 18 or over, and are a family member or friend of an adult living in a care home, you are invited to take part in this research. Your relative/friend may be an older person, or a person with dementia, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health needs, autism, long-term health conditions or sensory disabilities. If you would like to take part in the research you can complete an online questionnaire, available at If you prefer, we can forward the questionnaire to you by email; please contact the research team at Participation is voluntary and anonymous, this means you will not be asked to identify yourself, your relative/friend, or anyone else when filling in the questionnaire. This research is being carried out by a research team in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Hull.  

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