tide have been commissioned by the Scottish Government to create a toolkit to help carers and care homes begin the process of restoring relationships.
When lockdown began, care homes shut their doors to visitors, leaving carers unable to visit a loved one for months. When visits were restored social distancing measures were put in place leaving family members distraught at the lack of contact. For people with dementia, this would have been an extremely difficult time, as people they knew disappeared from their lives. Many families have told us the effect on their loved ones has been huge, a recent survey showed 92% of family carers for someone with dementia say that the pandemic has caused a more rapid increase in their loved one’s symptoms.
As lockdown eases and visits begin again there may be difficulties in the relationship between care homes and carers, many of whom have lost trust. tide are working with both carers and care home providers to create an easy-to-use toolkit that will help them during this challenging time. This will include things like agreement on the length of time on each visit, what is important for the carer, and what activities or tasks you want to do with or for the person living in a care home.
Amanda McCarren National Lead for Scotland and head of tide development said of the toolkit,
The toolkit will help give families and relatives something to focus on as they plan for their return or an increase in the time they can spend in the care home. It will help families and relatives to restore their relationships with loved ones in care homes whom they haven’t seen for many months. It will also aim to help reconnect any relationships that may have become fractured between families, relatives and care home staff and support the ongoing growth of relationships moving forward.
The toolkit will not act as a tool to blame and shame staff in care homes about what they are not doing – it will enhance the care already received and support care home staff and relatives to have important conversations even in times where it may be uncomfortable. The key to the toolkit is that it will provide person-centred care and will seek to heal relationships between all parties.
We want to involve as many families and relatives in the creation, development and implementation of the toolkit as possible. If you live in Scotland please complete this questionnaire.
The toolkit will be launched in May.