Care home lockdown

Nils

New member
Mar 30, 2020
2
I am a new member. I haven't had a chance to go through all questions posed on this forum so apologies if I am repeating.

Our family like many others is facing the same issue of having mum in isolation in a nursing home. She used to have at least 3-4 visits a day from friends and family. Over the last 4 months we managed to help her gain mobility from being on a palliative path after hip surgery. Her cultural background is Indian and does not really communicate too well in English. She has dementia too. We (family) think that by the end of the lockdown her mental and physical state will deteriorate further without our contact.

My question is that given the lockdown is going to in place for a few weeks/months and that people in these forums seem to understand more than others the importance of physical contact, is there a legal avenue that can be used to challenge the lockdown? I can see practical steps like checking temperature of visitors, limiting the number of daily visits to say at most 1, keeping to the residents rooms whilst visiting ?

We need the combined brains of the legal professionals so that some sort of challenge can be conceived. Hope some of you have suggestions ! I tried asking solicitors but they generally were sympathetic to the govt/carehome point of view.

Yep and we try the phone/video call avenue but mostly not much success because mum is really hard of hearing even with earphones.

Thanks
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
3,015
West Hertfordshire
I doubt an exception will be made for you regardless of a legal challenge.

Keeping a resident in their room whilst you were visiting wouldnt solve anything- unless your PWD remained there 24/7. I doubt you would want that.

Besides, we are not just locked out of the care homes, we are all supposed to be staying home ourselves.
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
1,009
Newcastle
Lockdowns at care homes have been put in place for the protection of all residents. You may think that your mum's mental and physical health may deteriorate without your contact but do you really want to risk spreading serious illness and death across the care home by breaking the lockdown? Care homes need our support not legal challenges at what is a difficult time for everyone.
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,746
Chester
The whole principle of the lock down is to minimise contact.

If one visitor (A) has the virus, and doesn't yet have symptoms or is asymptomatic, then they would spread the virus to everything they touch and your mother. Your mother could then pass it on to the carers and they could pass it on to the other residents.

If a different person (B) from a different household visited on a different day then it could be passed to B and B could pass it on to their household.

This defeats the object of the lockdown.

The emergency legislation passed would be considered draconian in normal times - I doubt that any court would wish to convene to hear a challenge and thereby put everyone in attendance at risk.

Everyone should be sticking to their own households, with no mixing, otherwise it will spread.
 

Wildflowerlady

Registered User
Sep 30, 2019
120
I found out today via email from sister that she can no longer visit dad to do his breakfast as of tomorrow at the request/advice of Local Authority care company. Dad lives at home with 4x daily carers. I decided just over a week ago that I didn't want to add to the amount of people going into dad as I visited him 3-5 times a week sister went daily.
Personally I felt as painful as it is not to see him increasing his risk and chance of getting the virus passed to him is worse. My heart is breaking I'm tearful but I want to give my dad the best chance of getting through this. My partner is also vulnerable too with other health issues ( Not dementia) therefore I will be the one that will have to shop when necessary. I intend to leave my home as little as possible and support dad in ways that avoid putting him at further risk.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,057
Yorkshire
hello @Nils
welcome to DTP
there are many here who are unable to visit due to care home lockdown and finding it difficult and worrying, so members do understand your situation

a closing of a care home due to contagious illness, in the hope of containing the illness and enabling the staff to concentrate all their efforts on the residents, isn't new ...
what's new right now is that all care homes are in lockdown so every resident, and their family and friends, is affected

my dad lived in his care home for 5 years and it was closed a few times because of outbreaks of norovirus ... I was astounded that some family members ignored the closure, pretty much ignored the hand gel and aprons at reception, pretty much ignored the staff and continued to visit (exceptions were always made for those residents at end of life) ... to me, I was respecting the right of other residents and the staff to be protected in case I was an asymptomatic carrier and I was very upset that others were putting my dad at risk ... especially as the staff worked so hard to limit the spread of the virus, and thought a couple of times that they were through the outbreak only to have it flare up again, and, of course, the longer each outbreak lasted the more likely more residents and the staff were to catch it

sadly there will be down sides to these lockdowns ... hopefully as many residents and staff as possible will remain virus free and be there to visit and thank when restrictions are lifted
 

Cat27

Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
11,326
Merseyside
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Louie16

Registered User
Mar 31, 2020
14
Hello,
First time user here. Mum has mixed dementia in a care home last 4 years. Currently residents are being kept in their rooms as much as possible away from each other although the home says none has symptoms of virus. Mum is mobile and likes to walk around which is one issue also becomes fearful when alone. Her room is out in corner away from main corridor. So very isolated. As we cannot visit I can't check on her wellbeing, they have WhatsApp video but she can only manage focus for about 3 mins and carer has to hold it for her. This is big concern.
If residents are Not For Resusc, as mum is, they will supposedly be cared for in the care home. How will this be possible with very few staff ? I guess not. Also will palliative care be given asap by GP ? How can I go about insisting this happens ?
Appreciate these are all difficult questions ethically but want to be prepared.
Thankyou.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,057
Yorkshire
HELLO @Louie16
A warm welcome to DTP

I think many will share your worries because they are not able to visit

Why not email or phone the manager of your mum's care home so they can reassure you of the procedures they will follow

Personally I cannot imagine the staff at the care home where my dad was doing anything but the best they can, including organising full palliative care for a resident whatever the circumstances

The DNR doesn't mean that meds won't be given or that there should be less than the appropriate medical care.. it is that, should a person's heart have stopped, the medics will not attempt to resuscitate, otherwise they are, I believe, duty bound to try
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
231
Many of the Carers employed by care homes are not happy to be going to work at the moment.
It is very difficult to keep a 2 meters distance when carrying out personal care ! The risk of taking covid home to their families, many who have underlying health issues, is frightening.
Carers are not earning a great deal of money, if you factor in the risk of allowing families into the building, it could tip the balance and make Carers take the decision to request unpaid leave or just hand in their notice.
Every situation is more complicated than it first appears.
 

Louie16

Registered User
Mar 31, 2020
14
HELLO @Louie16
A warm welcome to DTP

I think many will share your worries because they are not able to visit

Why not email or phone the manager of your mum's care home so they can reassure you of the procedures they will follow

Personally I cannot imagine the staff at the care home where my dad was doing anything but the best they can, including organising full palliative care for a resident whatever the circumstances

The DNR doesn't mean that meds won't be given or that there should be less than the appropriate medical care.. it is that, should a person's heart have stopped, the medics will not attempt to resuscitate, otherwise they are, I believe, duty bound to try
Hi
Thanks Shedrech
yes I understand the care staff will try to do their best. I have emailed the home today just awaiting reply. I am concerned as quite rightly Weasell has also stated staff are very concerned and anxious about themselves and their own families and are poorly paid and overstretched. I used to work in care homes and community so have some insight into the issues which are far worse now. What I would like to find out is how other care homes are managing the situation, as some appear the be keeping residents interaction and activities going, if anyone has any feedback I'd be very appreciative.
Thanks again.
 

Bezzy1946

Registered User
Jul 18, 2017
18
73
Watford
Hi
Thanks Shedrech
yes I understand the care staff will try to do their best. I have emailed the home today just awaiting reply. I am concerned as quite rightly Weasell has also stated staff are very concerned and anxious about themselves and their own families and are poorly paid and overstretched. I used to work in care homes and community so have some insight into the issues which are far worse now. What I would like to find out is how other care homes are managing the situation, as some appear the be keeping residents interaction and activities going, if anyone has any feedback I'd be very appreciative.
Thanks again.
Hi my husband has been in care home since January. He has dementia, trouble walking (he has fallen a number of times in home). I have just received an email saying he has a chest infection and is on antibiotics. Such I worrying time for us all with our loved ones in care homes and not being able to see them. They are supposed to be putting into place FaceTime this week so hopefully can see him. Take care all of you x
 

Louie16

Registered User
Mar 31, 2020
14
Hi my husband has been in care home since January. He has dementia, trouble walking (he has fallen a number of times in home). I have just received an email saying he has a chest infection and is on antibiotics. Such I worrying time for us all with our loved ones in care homes and not being able to see them. They are supposed to be putting into place FaceTime this week so hopefully can see him. Take care all of you x
Hi Bezzy1946
Hope all goes well for your husband. Kind thoughts to you both. Chin up . Best wishes.
 

Nils

New member
Mar 30, 2020
2
Lockdowns at care homes have been put in place for the protection of all residents. You may think that your mum's mental and physical health may deteriorate without your contact but do you really want to risk spreading serious illness and death across the care home by breaking the lockdown? Care homes need our support not legal challenges at what is a difficult time for everyone.
I get the lockdown but I am also not willing to give up working on a solution that can work without risking infection. Its a case of where there is a will there is a way. Let's take your argument to say the lockdown goes on for 6 months. I'll hazard a guess and say my mum will be mentally and physically a shell of what she is now. Think about it, 3 of 6 months is a very long time and in my personal situation, I know which way mum will go. Thankfully I'm not alone in thinking like this, a couple of mums neighbors are similarly minded.
 

Nat-ash-a

New member
Feb 28, 2020
3
I get the lockdown but I am also not willing to give up working on a solution that can work without risking infection. Its a case of where there is a will there is a way. Let's take your argument to say the lockdown goes on for 6 months. I'll hazard a guess and say my mum will be mentally and physically a shell of what she is now. Think about it, 3 of 6 months is a very long time and in my personal situation, I know which way mum will go. Thankfully I'm not alone in thinking like this, a couple of mums neighbors are similarly minded.
I can't offer any advice but just wanted to say I understand where you are coming from. My mum went into a care home on 18th March and they went into lockdown later that day, I haven't seen her since and she must feel completely abandoned. She hasn't spoke to me for 3 days and today the home told me she's refused to eat for days, is very pale and not herself. She is now being isolated in her room as some people are displaying symptoms. I feel so helpless. I've looked into buying a private test in the hope I can enter but there's nothing to say I don't get the virus the day after. Although I've only posted once before this group is a godsend for low times, just to know you are jot alone. Sending love to you
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,669
North West
I am a new member. I haven't had a chance to go through all questions posed on this forum so apologies if I am repeating.

Our family like many others is facing the same issue of having mum in isolation in a nursing home. She used to have at least 3-4 visits a day from friends and family. Over the last 4 months we managed to help her gain mobility from being on a palliative path after hip surgery. Her cultural background is Indian and does not really communicate too well in English. She has dementia too. We (family) think that by the end of the lockdown her mental and physical state will deteriorate further without our contact.

My question is that given the lockdown is going to in place for a few weeks/months and that people in these forums seem to understand more than others the importance of physical contact, is there a legal avenue that can be used to challenge the lockdown? I can see practical steps like checking temperature of visitors, limiting the number of daily visits to say at most 1, keeping to the residents rooms whilst visiting ?

We need the combined brains of the legal professionals so that some sort of challenge can be conceived. Hope some of you have suggestions ! I tried asking solicitors but they generally were sympathetic to the govt/carehome point of view.

Yep and we try the phone/video call avenue but mostly not much success because mum is really hard of hearing even with earphones.

Thanks
Been reading all the posts on this thread and it is concerning for everyone. The lockdown is to protect everyone, I agree this is hard to deal with. Some homes are trying to persaude residents to remain in their rooms if possible which is proportionate to the situation, but not always achievable but this is understandable in dementia. If you were saying that residents were being locked in their rooms for days on end, or there was some form of neglect/abuse then that would be disproportionate to the situation and for a number of reasons, you would be able to challenege that.

I don't think you could legally challenge the lockdown as clealry a challenge could not be justified as things are, that goes for everyone. How would you argue your case? I think if you have concerns about the care homes approach to care, then that can be challenged, but the lockdown isn't negotiable, I think thats obvious by the fact the Coronavirus Act 2020 exists.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
687
High Peak
We are living in an extraordinary, never-before situation. Whatever care homes do it seems they can't win. If they have total lockdown, some people will complain they can't see their loved ones. If they don't, they risk all residents and staff getting the virus. I'm sure other relatives would complain about that.

Care homes have to do the best they can to protect their residents, all of whom are really vulnerable to this virus. Some may already have it and will need extra care at a time when most homes are short staffed.

Whilst I fully appreciate people want to visit their loved ones and fear the detrimental effect of a PWD being isolated and not seeing family, we cannot make exceptions because that puts all other residents and staff at risk. Yes, some residents will deteriorate and most will be unable to understand what's happening. (Let's not forget all people with dementia deteriorate.) But the alternative is to allow a free-for-all which would quickly kill most residents. (Sorry to put it bluntly but that's the truth.)

@Nils please do not attempt any sort of legal challenge. Your rights to see your mother do not trump the rights of other families to have their loved ones kept safe. There is also the risk that you could infect your mother yourself by visiting. The only alternative I can see if you feel so strongly is to remove your mum from the care home and have yourself and her many family and friends look after her at someone's home instead.
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,746
Chester
But the alternative is to allow a free-for-all which would quickly kill most residents. (Sorry to put it bluntly but that's the truth.)
Absolutely

This is the least worst option.

If you were to visit your PWD you pose a risk to every other PWD that lives in the building. There is no risk free way of visiting.

My mum is in sheltered extra care, so they can't legally impose a lock down - they have requested in strongly worded terms that we drop shopping at reception and don't visit. So that is what I did, I know that I would make sure mum had the right food if I could go in but she has some food, I was very upset at not seeing her on mother's day and in particular her 90th birthday but if I have the virus how selfish of me to visit, pass it on to mum, who passes it on to the carers and it goes round her complex like wildfire.

They did say that most are respecting this but not all and ultimately every single visitor puts the entire complex at risk.

The carers have to go in, that is not optional so that is an unavoidable risk and has no correlation with non essential visitors and so it is not a valid argument.

If you visit your PWD you don't just put them at risk, but everyone else who lives in works in the same building as them, and everyone who lives in the same household as a carer, if anyone in those households works elsewhere this than risks those they work with. This is the ripple effect that means it is essential we all avoid non essential contact.
 

kindred

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
2,414
I get the lockdown but I am also not willing to give up working on a solution that can work without risking infection. Its a case of where there is a will there is a way. Let's take your argument to say the lockdown goes on for 6 months. I'll hazard a guess and say my mum will be mentally and physically a shell of what she is now. Think about it, 3 of 6 months is a very long time and in my personal situation, I know which way mum will go. Thankfully I'm not alone in thinking like this, a couple of mums neighbors are similarly minded.
I completely understand, if I had been unable to see my husband for that length of time I would have gone mad, But if you had experienced as I have the horror and distress of the staff when it seems that the virus might be present in the home, you would not want to add to it. Warmest, kindred
 

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