Care homes prepare for 'hand-holding' visits from residents' loved ones

Relaxation of lockdown rules means a designated visitor will be allowed indoors from March 8


Woman holding senior woman's hand on bed

Jewish Care has plans in hand for all its care home residents “to have a designated visitor who will be able to visit safely indoors, wearing PPE, and with whom they may hold hands, from March 8”.

Chief executive Daniel Carmel-Brown said designated visitors would be required to have their temperature tested and record a negative Covid-19 test on the day of the visit. The charity will retain its other visiting methods, “such as our pods with Perspex screens, for those who are not a designated visitor”.

Mr Carmel-Brown was “delighted that the new guidelines are encouraging social contact and in particular, recognising the impact of prolonged separation from loved ones.

“We will follow the cautious approach suggested by the government with regards to the lifting of restrictions, namely starting small and moving forward only once it is established that no adverse impact was caused during the previous stage.

“It is vital that by facilitating individual visits, we do not compromise the safety of residents and staff and that we continue to do all we can to keep Covid-19 out of our homes.”

The Nightingale home in Clapham is also working towards welcoming back visitors in March. “Getting our families back in is a key priority for the wellbeing of our residents — and we also love having them in the home,” said chief executive Helen Simmons.

There was “cautious excitement” over the move at Manchester’s major welfare provider, The Fed, as CEO Mark Cunningham awaited more detailed information. “We have always been working towards a date by which relatives could visit without a physical separation between them and their loved one,” he told the JC.

“Our biggest question is where does this fit in with the provision of the second dose of the vaccine for care home residents?

“If the second dose becomes available in early March, then it would have made more sense to wait for this and reduce the risk for the most vulnerable.

“At the end of the day, we recognise how important these visits are but also how virulent and infectious the virus is.”


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