What do carers think of the new visiting guidelines for Care Homes?
Week after week we are hearing stories from carers about how they have not been able to visit someone in a care home due to restrictions put in place for Covid 19. We have repeatedly called on the government through #OneDementiaVoice to give one family member Key Worker status, with access to regular testing and appropriate PPE so they can still have contact. New guidance was issued by the government yesterday ( 4/11/20) on Care Home visits. This is what 3 of our carers had to say,
"I feel very strongly that carers should not only be allowed into care homes but should be allowed physical contact with their loved ones. Once testing programmes come in, surely there can be no reason not to do this. My mum died a couple of weeks ago. She found it dreadfully distressing to see me but not be able to touch me. She would cry and reach out to me. One day she sobbed “I haven’t done anything wrong”. It was also very distressing for me to see this. I never got to hug my mum again. I was able to be with her when she died but she was unconscious by then. I felt that I wasn’t able to be a daughter to her in her last months. I accept that precautions need to be taken but I believe it is morally wrong to deny physical contact and comfort to care home residents. Using screens or windows makes the visits seem like prison visits. My mum hadn’t done anything wrong. She shouldn’t have been treated like a prisoner. (The care my mum received was wonderful, I don’t blame the care home staff). I live in Liverpool where they have just started a pilot programme of testing everyone who lives in the city. If someone tests negative, would this be evidence to allow them to enter a care home? Key worker status is essential. It’s too late for me and my mum but it could help lots of other families." Ruth
"With my wife being in a care home suffering from dementia and not being able to see her for over six weeks now is having serious effects on my health and wellbeing at the moment, as I feel that I cannot monitor standards of care being administered to this client group and some care homes have done nothing to overcome this important issue that is effecting thousands of families and carers, maybe someone will sit up and take heed on this issue."
‘I'm not a current carer anymore, since mum passed, but I would say that the one visit we were able to have with her, outside and socially distanced, it was like she didn't know we were there. Can't imagine having a screen between would have helped that. The weather was also not great that day, and I got the feeling mum just wanted to go back indoors. Can't imagine the cold of winter will make any dementia sufferer less than anxious and upset by the conditions outside.’ Fiona CampbellYou can read Doreen's Story on care home visits here