Care home - new rules

GillP

Registered User
Aug 11, 2021
1,733
0
My husband’s home has visits by appointment and only for half an hour. However, as essential carer I am allowed longer and more frequent visits.
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
2,458
0
Newcastle
I have got used to making appointments during the pandemic but would value being able to just drop in as I used to eg when coming back from a bike ride or when spare time becomes available at short notice. I would also like more opportunities to mix with the other residents and staff as I found that made for a more enjoyable visit. I remain hopeful that these things will return in time. The staff that I have spoken to seem to agree.

Unless there has been an outbreak I have never been told that I can't visit, although sometimes have needed to change my proposed time. I would not go so far as to say either that it is like visiting a prison (I have never done so but would imagine rather stricter measures) or that staff can refuse my request without good reason. I know all the staff well enough to have a chat over the phone when making arrangements and when I see them at the home. I haven't found any evidence that suggests that I need to drop in to catch them out in some way. I have never been made to feel unwelcome, in fact quite the reverse. Maybe I am naive or just lucky.
 
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Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
4,158
0
Dorset
I have got used to making appointments during the pandemic but would value being able to just drop in as I used to eg when coming back from a bike ride or when spare time becomes available at short notice. I would also like more opportunities to mix with the other residents and staff as I found that made for a more enjoyable visit. I remain hopeful that these things will return in time. The staff that I have spoken to seem to agree.

Unless there has been an outbreak I have never been told that I can't visit, although sometimes have needed to change my proposed time. I would not go so far as to say either that it is like visiting a prison (I have never done so but would imagine rather stricter measures) or that staff can refuse my request without good reason. I know all the staff well enough to have a chat over the phone when making arrangements and when I see them at the home. I haven't found any evidence that suggests that I need to drop in to catch them out in some way. I have never been made to feel unwelcome, in fact quite the reverse. Maybe I am naive or just lucky.
The Banjoman was only at his care home for seven and a half months so I wanted to be sure that he was being well looked after, I was learning about the place and it’s people. I was always happy with his care and was always made to feel welcome.
 

garfield3

Registered User
Jun 30, 2018
384
0
It’s very frustrating when rules like that are applied. Dad’s still in hospital and when I visit I’ve to make an appointment. Not the best situation at all.

Stay strong.
 

Scarlet Lady

Registered User
Apr 6, 2021
228
0
Hospitals and care homes are doing precisely as they please and it has nothing whatsoever to do with government guidelines. It’s all to do with money, specifically insurance. Care home owners will not risk being sued for a potentially disastrous situation involving multiple infections (and/or possible deaths within the home). Therefore, despite the fact that their employees come and go at will, their patients or residents are treated as prisoners, ostensibly for their own ‘safety’. They have absolutely no regard whatsoever for the people they care for, or their families. (I emphasise that this is big business, not the foot soldiers on the ground). Sadly, despite publicity and public campaigns, it seems little has changed since the first lockdown in March 2020. Our government is not interested. Unless ‘guidelines’ can be changed into ‘legislation’, I don’t see how anything will improve. As for the NHS, that’s a lost ball of confusion.
 

Thethirdmrsc

Registered User
Apr 4, 2018
673
0
Although the home that my OH is in maintains an appointment system for visits, I can join in the activities with him at any time, so I don’t feel that he is being held prisoner. They have also started a families group with regular meetings. It’s a difficult time for everyone at the moment.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
12,473
0
Yorkshire
Finding it tricky to navigate care home visiting rules/restrictions at present. Outbreak in relatives care home at present. Having to make difficult decision to stay away due to clinical vulnerability and other relatives increased risks. Have been offered outside visit but relative is constantly wanting to 'go somewhere' so agree with home relative may become more agitated by moving through the home to outside space. Think it's very hard for the staff - massive pressures with staff and residents testing positive. No easy answers i'm afraid.
hello KPH
just to offer a warm welcome to DTP

I hope the outbreak clears soon .... and you are able to resume visiting for both your sakes
 

Tuddily

Registered User
Mar 25, 2020
11
0
Hi everyone! I have read with interest the comments and feelings of all above and feel i cannot pass by without adding how i feel as a daughter of a 91 year old mum with alziemers.
My mum lived in sheltered housing independently with just help when she needed it from us. We went out on day trips and holidays together, shopped and lunched together, saw each other or spoke on the phone everyday. Then in 2016 I realised that she was getting more forgetful and unable to cope as she could before. By February 2017 she had been diagnosed and she began to have falls resulting in long hospital stays and It was time to find a care home. I found a lovely small friendly home for her to move to. She took a while to settle and we went through when the stage of when am i going home but she settled in and so did i. I was made to feel so welcome. I would visit three times a week, join in activities, even organise activities for the residents to do. My way of giving something back. Like all of you I am sure, I did not just talk to my mum I chatted to all the residents especially those who didn't get many visitors. Also I became friends with other residences family and we supported each other.

Lockdown took all that away and it is still happening!

For two years we have abided by Covid rules which created the further problem of isolation especially for residents. I know one lady who just gave up, she would talked to every visitor who walked through the door My mum didn't fair well and the staff were worried how I would react when I first saw her after the first four months of lockdown had kept me away. Her mobility, coordination and eyesight have suffered but again lockdown had prevented physio visits and eye appointments going ahead. During this time my mum was actually assaulted in bed by another resident through the night and ended up with a black eye. The Doctor was phoned but he didn't come out. Did these events play their part in her speedy decline? I think so!
I am lucky enough to still have my mum and I visit her by appointment, in her room, but only on my own every week.
Other relatives who would randomly drop by have not seen her for two years. She thinks they have forgotton her!
We have missed so much special time with my mum, celebrating her 90th, our get togethers at Christmas and my cousin and i taking her out for lunch every month. I am never going to get those times back.
Have the homes not sadly learnt what damage isolation does? Please can we get back to how it was not just for your residents but for us their loved ones too.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
3,190
0
North West
I have read the posts on this thread and I agree with many of the comments. I was stunned in the first year of lockdown of finally being able to visit my mum behind screens she had seriously declined to the point I was worried she may pass and physically when I saw her for the first time after months of not being allowed to visit I was upset at how bad she seemed through a screen.

Since the pandemic and learining what I know now I have stopped campaigning for Johns Campaign (who do support privatisation) and Rights for Residents (who will never be able to resolve the complex laws between public and private social care companies). During the pandemic I had full on conversations with all of these groups including the CEO of the Alzheimer's Society via email and also upset a care home managers forum which I was then asked post leaving on my own views. Whilst these groups have entirely plausible agendas there is only one association that covers all possibilities for people with dementia and their carers and that is the Alzheimer's Society. There is no dispute that various charitable organisations have had some influence, however the wider law covering care homes needs to change from mixed law to one single one, but more importantly and something I was mentoned for in parliament was the fundamental rights of people with dementia in a pandemic.

The current situation is a legal mess because what covers public services does not cover privately ran care home services and no matter how much you knock at the door these care home companies have all of the power
 

rhubarbtree

Registered User
Jan 7, 2015
501
0
North West
Thanks to everyone who replied on this thread. It is sad to read of the decline of some residents when they are deprived on their loved ones support. This is not an issue for me as my husband has no long or short term memory and does not recognise me. I think he enjoys our time together watching music on youtube and having a manicure (he was always fussy about his nails).
Someone I was speaking to about this said "it sounds like they want to keep the residents alive but deprive them of a life" - rings very true.
Care home did not reply to my initial email but phoned me when I chased them. We went round and round in circles, with manager telling me all I needed to do was telephone and I would always be allowed to visit and me chuntering on about prison visits, life sentences and feeling unwelcome. I made it absolutely clear that me phoning for an appointment was not going to happen and eventually was told I did not need to make one. Would have been more pleased if I had turned the situation around for everyone but one small step I suppose.
Await to see my reception when I rock up without an appointment. Cannot go at the moment because still showing positive for covid (two weeks). Have read you can test positive for weeks. Well that will be another battle.
 

Snuffette

Registered User
Jan 11, 2021
135
0
I feel like we have gone back to March 2020, mum's home on a rolling lockdown. I have done some detective work today and found linked-in contact details for the Founder (ie owner) of the care home group. I've messaged him to see if they are challenging the guidelines with the Government (as from what his bio says he is very much in touch with Health Secretary - we'll see). It will be interesting to see if I get a response!
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
2,026
0
65
London
I don't think this is about financial greed as some seem to think. There's little to be gained financially from restricted visiting and it may actually require more staff to manage appointments than a free and unrestricted visiting regime.

It is more about the climate of fear and paranoia that has come to pass in the last couple of years and of course nowhere is more affected than a care home full of vulnerable people. With exceptions the covid virus is no more than a cold now and colds and flu have killed off the frail since time immemorial. I've had it, my 92 year old dad has had it, it was an infection that in 2019 we wouldn't have worried about. Yet because previous versions were more severe many are still behaving as if it were the plague. Care homes having failed to protect residents in 2020 are doubly wary now. It will take time for things to return to normal but relatives should help by keeping pressure up on managers.
 
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nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
25,484
0
North Manchester
Before covid it was common for a home to close if there was an outbreak of norovirus in the home. The virus was detected by symptoms which were different to winter coughs and sneezes.
Symptomatic and asymptomatic use of LFT have changed things, it will take a calm period before everybody settles down to a new normal of living with covid.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
25,484
0
North Manchester
Looking at the latest published government information re testing it states that most visitors to social care settings will not be required to test ! https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-sets-out-next-steps-for-living-with-covid

The link contains:

"Asymptomatic lateral flow testing will continue from April in some high-risk settings where infection can spread rapidly while prevalence is high. This includes patient-facing staff in the NHS and NHS-commissioned Independent Healthcare Providers, staff in hospices and adult social care services, such as homecare organisations and care homes, a small number of care home visitors who provide personal care, staff in some prisons and places of detention and in high risk domestic abuse refuges and homelessness settings. In addition, testing will be provided for residential SEND, care home staff and residents during an outbreak and for care home residents upon admission. This also includes some staff in prisons and immigration removal centres."

My emboldening.
Seems to say ECR status required.
 

Andy54

Registered User
Sep 24, 2020
165
0
"a small number of care home visitors who provide personal care" would seem to indicate those essential caregivers who provide some sort of hands on support. Further down the document it goes on to say that most visitors to the NHS, social care settings, places of detention will no longer be required to take a test. It makes no sense to me to test staff and residents and then let in untested visitors. Who'd be a cere home manager trying to navigate this minefield.
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
2,458
0
Newcastle
I take it that someone with ECR status may be providing care in close up situations for sustained or even quite prolonged periods. This might explain why testing is thought appropriate.

As for more casual visitors, testing may not be a requirement but may still be best practice, so long as test kits are available (even if no longer free).

Equating Covid to a cold "with exceptions" may have some credence but I am not sure we are there yet The exceptions may be vulnerable people of all ages, in residential, care and nursing homes, as well as in the wider community.

I'll still be cautious in such situations, to the extent that I may be aware of them. If that means - for the time being - making an appointment to visit my wife, I am happy to comply.