Care Home Just Introduced Visiting Times

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by cpoliver, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. cpoliver

    cpoliver Registered User

    Oct 18, 2016
    Hi Everyone, this may sound silly but the care home my mum is in is fab, very small, carers lovely and she is comfortable there. However, I arrived the weekend before last to find a notice up at the downstairs entrance advising of visiting times . My mum has been there since March and no such visiting times existed prior to the notice going up, no one told me about the introduction of visiting times and nor was there any consultation of residents family members about this. Consultation or notification would not have been an onerous task as there are only 5 full time residents with another 3 rooms for respite (those additional 3 rooms having recently been added). When querying this with the staff on duty they had no idea. I sent an email of concern to the home the following Tuesday advising I would welcome a meeting with the management team to discuss this only to receive a phone call within 20 mins of sending the email to say they had had to introduce this as one of the people in respite had received visitors after 8.30pm and my mum and other residents had already or were getting ready for bed and they did not want the residents disturbed. My concerns are as follows (a) this is my mums home, it is not an institution or a hospital and the visiting time restrictions are around mealtimes (b) I have previously visited mum and been there when it is time for meals and the staff have asked if she wanted to take her meal in the lounge so I could be with her (c) The notice states that it is for "protected meal times" however when I searched the CQC for this phrase I could not find it anywhere. d) Guidance from the CQC and Age UK seem to indicate that the imposition of "visiting times" are discouraged. I would welcome any guidance, (Official if possible and where I can find documentation to read and unofficial for those who have had experience of this) I want to make this very clear though, I love the home and the staff and my mum is very well looked after, my main gripe is that this approach should have been discussed with the residents relatives about the impact this will make on visiting them. Already this wk I found myself within 200m of my mums home as 12.05pm....I could not wait until 1.30pm to visit her so did not end up seeing her. Thank you all :)
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  2. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    Seems odd, that their concern was a temp resident having a visitor later in the eveing, to impose daytime restrictions. How is that solving their problem?

    like you say, its Mums home, you should be able to visit when you choose.

    I wonder if one of the respite residents has a visitor who turns up and expects to be fed ?
  3. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    I'm afraid I have no personal experience of this but I had a look for documentation. All I could find is this -

    It doesn't make any reference to visiting times but this phrase is used -

    It strikes me that I have read about members on this forum visiting their loved ones during meal times so that they can assist with feeding.
  4. Baker17

    Baker17 Registered User

    Mar 9, 2016
    My husband was in a wonderful home where I could share meal times with him unfortunately he was moved against my wishes to another where there is no visiting at the times you posted, this is heartbreaking for me as these mealtimes were also a social occasion and I met other residents families and made some friends who were in the same situation as me, in the new place I can see the confusion in my husband’s face when I have to leave at meal times
  5. DeMartin

    DeMartin Registered User

    Jul 4, 2017
    My dad’s nursing home preferred visitors to avoid meal times, possibly so they could toilet residents and move them to dining room, most had to be hoisted from armchair to wheelchair for this.

    It would be quite hectic for a few minutes, and perhaps a lot of visitors being around slowed the process.

    I never felt unwelcome if I stayed over lunch, I was always offered lunch, I usually just had a glass of fruit juice, and helped/encouraged dad to eat.
  6. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    One care home I considered using for my dad requested that visiting did not take place at mealtimes or after about 7pm. Not banned, but discouraged. It's was a lovely home but I've since wondered if they're doing that to avoid us seeing the worse of things.

    The one he's in allows visiting at any time but I usually leave at mealtimes. I've never been asked to leave.
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I was always invited to eat with my husband if I was at the home at mealtimes.

    There was no restriction to times of visiting but I never went during the evening because I knew most residents were tired , as I was too, and the staff would have enough to do to support those who were sundowning.
  8. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Is there a new manager?
    The term "protected meal times" is much banded around in hospitals. It is done supposedly to make sure that the patient does not have any visitors or professionals visiting and talking to them when they are eating their meals to make sure that they get the time needed to fully concentrate on their meals and to be able to eat them. The idea is that if they are expected to talk they they may not eat all/any of their food.

    There is beginning to be a bit of a backlash with dementia patients now, though, and there have been pleas at my local hospital for relatives of dementia patients to come in and help their relative with their meals.
  9. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    #9, Oct 16, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
    I visited dad at different times morning afternoon and evening and stayed during some meal times. Protected meal times idea presumably taken from hospital sometimes doesn't work well in that setting for dementia patients and a lot of homes such as Dad's NH welcomed extra help with challenging feeders such as dad. I would sometimes visit before supper to help dad and sit and watch tv/dvd with him in the evening just as I did at his home. I was always told that absolutely no restrictions on visiting at any time and in fact when dad 2 was unwell on one occasion I went in after midnight to sit with him for a while.

    I would be unhappy with their may be that respite short stay residents are unsettled by visitors or their new surroundings but it is the permanent resident's home and changes should not not be made because of the respite residents who will come and go. It is a very small home which I don't have experience of...34 residents on dad's floor although some bed bound...probably 12/14 residents in the dining area for meals but it was flexible...some like dad would have their meal wherever they finally settled from walking...some in their room...some in the lounge on a suitable chair table. It was a large spacious setting and I wonder whether it is a crowding and noise issue in this smaller home? Is it a dementia home? Even with only 5 permanent residents surely not all of them are in bed 7.30/8pm...some with dementia will still be up and wandering or in the lounge until late into the evening...some like dad up and wandering right through the night
  10. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Protected mealtimes are rubbish, and should not be promoted for dementia patients. By all means, keep doctors etc away until after, but not family that can help with the feeding.

    Also, as others have pointed out, if the problem was a late visitor, this new rule doesn't address it at all. I have come across care homes that have "curfews" at night, but the home that most impressed me was the one that said I was welcome anytime, even at midnight if I so wished. Visitors can manage to be quiet or be in the room of their loved one, so I really don't see the problem.
  11. Hair Twiddler

    Hair Twiddler Registered User

    Aug 14, 2012
    Middle England
    As others have pointed out the home's reason is flakey. The visiting times imposed don't address the alleged problem. Sounds to me like the home haven't thought the ramifications through.
    I can't believe that family helping at meal times is a bad thing, though perhaps if there is one relative causing issues at these times then that perhaps could be the real reason for a "blanket ban". Perhaps you could do a little "fishing" amongst the staff, get their thoughts. Try to engage the cleaners, in my mum's care home they were the best source of valuable inside information.

    Have the home made any exceptions to their new rules? When my mum was at her end of life I was there at 8am in the morning, staying 'til late afternoon. Sometimes arriving again later. It was important for mum and me. - have they thought of this scenario?
    Best wishes - Twiddler.

    (on a bit of a side note - I wonder how long the dedicated respite rooms will last - permanently occupied rooms are financially more attractive and as we see from other posts getting "as rare as hen's teeth")

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