Care home visitor lockdown

Lone Wolf

Registered User
Sep 20, 2020
58
Hello all,
Every couple of days I phone my Alzheimer's loved one in a locked down care home. Her cognition has declined drastically in 6 months of lockdown and after about 10 mins she just puts the phone down but I can still her burbling quietly to herself in the background. Do I try to re-engage her, do I keep listening until a carer picks up the phone, or do I just finish the call? Lockdown is so devastating after 35 years together 24/7, but no-one but family carers seem to understand dementia - certainly not politicians nor medics and not even many care home staff who deal with dementia patients daily. Trying to cope with this lockdown is the loneliest feeling in the world. Constantly asking yourself if you are doing everything you possibly can in the circumstances, now the CCG wants to do a full review of the Continuing Healthcare funding, which alone is an absolute nightmare. And where is the CQC in all of this? Don't they understand that family are the quality monitors in care homes? Without family visitors how can we possibly be confident that a loved one is being properly looked after, especially when care was only just adequate when visiting was unrestricted. The situation is a never ending nightmare and perhaps the only consolation is that my loved one (hopefully) has no enduring awareness, but it is so hard especially when you promised that you would never put them in such a place. Care home residents and their family carers are the biggest and most overlooked victims of Covid.
 

anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
601
It's hard enough having a parent in a care home, but it must be so much harder if the person in care is your husband or wife. Don't be hard on yourself, sometimes our loved one can no longer live at home and we do what they need, rather than what they, or we , want. Yes, @Lone Wolf , you're right about being victims of covid. I find my mum is only on the phone for a very short time too. Have you managed any garden visits, or indoors? I hope you get the Continuing Healthcare sorted soon X
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
108
It's hard enough having a parent in a care home, but it must be so much harder if the person in care is your husband or wife. Don't be hard on yourself, sometimes our loved one can no longer live at home and we do what they need, rather than what they, or we , want. Yes, @Lone Wolf , you're right about being victims of covid. I find my mum is only on the phone for a very short time too. Have you managed any garden visits, or indoors? I hope you get the Continuing Healthcare sorted soon X
Hi @anxious annie, Ive noticed theres not many of us commenting on the issues of visiting restrictions now. Im wondering if everyone is currently ok with their current arrangements or have given up? Any ideas? Im still upset !
 

Cazzita

Registered User
May 12, 2018
591
The care home my mum is in have been great. I visit about 4 times a week for 30 minutes, outside with a mask on but we walk around the garden and chat. I do her nails sometimes and give her a drink. I find it hard that I am the only one allowed to visit. Mum is forgetting everyone now!
 

Bikerbeth

Registered User
Feb 11, 2019
1,711
Bedford
Mum’s care home is changing their system tomorrow so I will let you know what I think afterwards @Kellyr
I doubt it would be like the one @Cazzita describes. Mum would certainly be more happy walking round the garden with me
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
891
The care home my mum is in have been great. I visit about 4 times a week for 30 minutes, outside with a mask on but we walk around the garden and chat. I do her nails sometimes and give her a drink. I find it hard that I am the only one allowed to visit. Mum is forgetting everyone now!

You can get close enough to do your mum's nails! How lovely. My mum's care home have gone back to full lock down again as a precaution. Previously, they had been doing the outdoor, 2 metres distance, with masks, no contact.
 

anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
601
Hi @Kellyr
I think lots of people are feeling that now numbers are rising the government feel that they can just say they're protecting residents, and not bother with trying to get indoor visits safely in all care homes.
I hope @Cazzita that your mums care home continues to offer you the same amount of access indoors, as the Autumn and Winter approaches.
The new Winter Plan says that visits must now be supervised at all times, do you now have a staff minder on your garden walks with your mum?
Keller, there are still so many family members out there enraged by the Governments neglect of care home residents.
Many comments have been left on Helen Whately Facebook page on her post 3 days ago about the Winter Plan from angry family members, tho I doubt she's read them as she has posted today about how Govt is giving support to the dementia conect programme to mark World Alzheimer's day.
Please everyone see the link on Facebook Rights for Residents group, or go to
https//www.facebook.com/HelenWhatelyMP/
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
108
It's hard enough having a parent in a care home, but it must be so much harder if the person in care is your husband or wife. Don't be hard on yourself, sometimes our loved one can no longer live at home and we do what they need, rather than what they, or we , want. Yes, @Lone Wolf , you're right about being victims of covid. I find my mum is only on the phone for a very short time too. Have you managed any garden visits, or indoors? I hope you get the Continuing Healthcare sorted soon X
Hi @anxious annie, Ive noticed theres not many of us commenting on the issues of visiting restrictions now. Im wondering if everyone is currently ok with their current arrangements or have given up? Any ideas? Im still upset !
Hi @Kellyr
I think lots of people are feeling that now numbers are rising the government feel that they can just say they're protecting residents, and not bother with trying to get indoor visits safely in all care homes.
I hope @Cazzita that your mums care home continues to offer you the same amount of access indoors, as the Autumn and Winter approaches.
The new Winter Plan says that visits must now be supervised at all times, do you now have a staff minder on your garden walks with your mum?
Keller, there are still so many family members out there enraged by the Governments neglect of care home residents.
Many comments have been left on Helen Whately Facebook page on her post 3 days ago about the Winter Plan from angry family members, tho I doubt she's read them as she has posted today about how Govt is giving support to the dementia conect programme to mark World Alzheimer's day.
Please everyone see the link on Facebook Rights for Residents group, or go to
https//www.facebook.com/HelenWhatelyMP/
Will look at facebook , thank you.. 🙂
 

Bezzy1946

Registered User
Jul 18, 2017
43
74
Watford
Hi @anxious annie, Ive noticed theres not many of us commenting on the issues of visiting restrictions now. Im wondering if everyone is currently ok with their current arrangements or have given up? Any ideas? Im still upset !

Will look at facebook , thank you.. 🙂
The care home my husband is in has gone into lockdown again. Not sure why they haven’t had any cases of Covid for months now and we sat in garden when visiting.

It’s a very sad situation and very worrying.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,609
The care home my husband is in has gone into lockdown again. Not sure why they haven’t had any cases of Covid for months now and we sat in garden when visiting.
It’s a very sad situation and very worrying.

It may be because the infection rates in your local area have increased. Mum's home has been allowing garden and indoors visits but have just stopped all indoors visits, on the advice of the local director of public health. A letter was sent to all the local care homes to advise that as the local infection rates have risen above the level of 20 cases per 100,000 population it is recommended that all indoor visits are 'paused until further notice' to keep residents and care staff safe. The letter said that outdoor visits can still go ahead but only if they do not involve going through the home to get to the garden. It was lucky that the weather was good yesterday so I saw mum but not sure how many more outside visits I'll get when the weather gets worse :(
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
595
No visits at all at mums hone since an outbreak of positives tests two months ago. I've only been able to see mum three times outside ( indoor visits have never been allowed) since March. And with the new restrictions I can't see visits starting again for many months.

I cannot express how I feel as its too hard for me to even think about it, apart from a weekly phone call with the staff, I have no idea how mum is. She doesn't like FaceTime type calls, has been known to throw the iPad to the floor so we don't try them anymore. I don't think she knows who we are anyway.
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
108
@Lynmax its beyond awful isnt it. Ive had to toally disassociate myself from the actual emotion of missing my mum and just focus on the practicalities day to day. If I didnt do that I would probably have an actual nervous breakdown. I dont even get an official weekly chat with staff. Every possible restriction has been inflicted without any explanation from the manager, who just happens to be a control freak! All we can do is literally pray for a miracle, that this disease will somehow fizzle out and all these dire warnings wont come to pass. I dont believe half of what we're being told now anyway. Heres hoping... 🤞
 

SewHappy

Registered User
Feb 3, 2019
18
I can visit mum, by appointment, in the garden or in the conservatory with the door open. I have to do social distancing and wear mask, apron and gloves. I'd love to give her a hug and am trying very hard not to be upset by it. These visits are better than the no visits we had before and I'm worried that we're going back to no visits. Mum has accepted 'that there's a nasty flu about and we need to look after old folk'. In some ways she's coping better than me with the restricted visiting.
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
777
Last Monday I got a call to say only window visits were allowed again, outside visits didn’t work for us because my husband wouldn’t sit down.
Due to the enforced separation because of the pandemic he has deteriorated and there were a lot of safeguarding issues with him that had to be reported to SS, the weekend before last there were three and I knew that something had to happen. He was sectioned last Tuesday on a section 2, I was so upset. Perversely this has turned out to be a blessing, he got a space in a local unit, he is doing much better, and the bonus is they do inside visits and I’m going to see him in the flesh tomorrow. There will still be the issue of him not understanding social distancing but the staff have said not to worry you need to try it and we’ll work with it. I’m nervous but excited. Why couldn’t the home have done an individual risk assessment as I asked them for many times and we might not be in this position now. Ironically I got an e mail from the LA last Wednesday saying there would be a teams meeting to carry out the said risk assessment, too little too late😡
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
108
Last Monday I got a call to say only window visits were allowed again, outside visits didn’t work for us because my husband wouldn’t sit down.
Due to the enforced separation because of the pandemic he has deteriorated and there were a lot of safeguarding issues with him that had to be reported to SS, the weekend before last there were three and I knew that something had to happen. He was sectioned last Tuesday on a section 2, I was so upset. Perversely this has turned out to be a blessing, he got a space in a local unit, he is doing much better, and the bonus is they do inside visits and I’m going to see him in the flesh tomorrow. There will still be the issue of him not understanding social distancing but the staff have said not to worry you need to try it and we’ll work with it. I’m nervous but excited. Why couldn’t the home have done an individual risk assessment as I asked them for many times and we might not be in this position now. Ironically I got an e mail from the LA last Wednesday saying there would be a teams meeting to carry out the said risk assessment, too little too late😡

Hi @anxious annie, Ive noticed theres not many of us commenting on the issues of visiting restrictions now. Im wondering if everyone is currently ok with their current arrangements or have given up? Any ideas? Im still upset !

Will look at facebook , thank you.. 🙂
Hi @anxious annie, Ive noticed theres not many of us commenting on the issues of visiting restrictions now. Im wondering if everyone is currently ok with their current arrangements or have given up? Any ideas? Im still upset !

Will look at facebook , thank you.. 🙂
@anxious annie I read all the very powerful comments on Helen Ws facebook. Someone on there said there had been 540k comments on one of her posts from 3 days ago but I couldnt find it, maybe been deleted. Anyway someone somewhere must take notice of this sooner or later its so important
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,609
@Kellyr I don't know if you're aware of the CPA visiting protocol for care homes? There's a link to it from the current government visiting guidance and it has been updated (on 11/09/20) to include reference to the 'Essential Family Carers' scheme that some homes are now operating, although this may be dependent on whether there is testing available for visitors:

https://careprovideralliance.org.uk/coronavirus-visitors-protocol

I also spotted this on the government website. It’s a recently published report from the Social Care Sector covid-19 taskforce which contains the following recommendation:

Recommendation 7

Testing of regular family visitors to care homes should be reviewed by SAGE considering risks associated with visitors, risks to residents of not being able to see their families and circumstances where relatives' care and support in the homes is an integral part of the care plan

Action for: DHSC

 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
108
@Kellyr I don't know if you're aware of the CPA visiting protocol for care homes? There's a link to it from the current government visiting guidance and it has been updated (on 11/09/20) to include reference to the 'Essential Family Carers' scheme that some homes are now operating, although this may be dependent on whether there is testing available for visitors:

https://careprovideralliance.org.uk/coronavirus-visitors-protocol

I also spotted this on the government website. It’s a recently published report from the Social Care Sector covid-19 taskforce which contains the following recommendation:

Recommendation 7

Testing of regular family visitors to care homes should be reviewed by SAGE considering risks associated with visitors, risks to residents of not being able to see their families and circumstances where relatives' care and support in the homes is an integral part of the care plan

Action for: DHSC

@Kellyr I don't know if you're aware of the CPA visiting protocol for care homes? There's a link to it from the current government visiting guidance and it has been updated (on 11/09/20) to include reference to the 'Essential Family Carers' scheme that some homes are now operating, although this may be dependent on whether there is testing available for visitors:

https://careprovideralliance.org.uk/coronavirus-visitors-protocol

I also spotted this on the government website. It’s a recently published report from the Social Care Sector covid-19 taskforce which contains the following recommendation:

Recommendation 7

Testing of regular family visitors to care homes should be reviewed by SAGE considering risks associated with visitors, risks to residents of not being able to see their families and circumstances where relatives' care and support in the homes is an integral part of the care plan

Action for: DHSC

Thanks for sharing this @Louise7. Will read with interest..
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
777
@anxious annie I read all the very powerful comments on Helen Ws facebook. Someone on there said there had been 540k comments on one of her posts from 3 days ago but I couldnt find it, maybe been deleted. Anyway someone somewhere must take notice of this sooner or later its so
@Kellyr she did delete a post regarding the amount of money that they had donated to Alzheimer’s research, unfortunately she stated that £500 million was the sum when it should have been £500,000. Many people from rights for residents posted on this post but she deleted the whole post instead of editing the amount. She probably didn’t like the responses she got. She’s reposted and probably still doesn’t like what myself and others have reposted. But hey if you’re a public figure you have to put up with the flack 🤷‍♀️
 

anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
601
Hi @Baker17
Pleased to hear that visits for you may improve now your husband has moved.
Thanks for the link @Louise7 .
Ive reposted on Helen Whateleys post about Alzheimer Day, lots of unhappy people, and the comments about the Winter Plan too @Kellyr .
I've actually had a reply from mums MP, but unfortunately he's praising Boris moonshot , saying the way forward is testing ( no mention of family testing as I'd asked) , and he's pleased that care home staff are tested weekly so our residents are kept safe.
All in all he thinks the government are doing a great job for care home residents.
No mention at all about my point that residents are deteriorating through lack of contact . No sympathy whatsoever about my mums own plight.
I shall be emailing back to ask him to address these specifically !! The fight goes on.
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
108
Hi @Baker17
Pleased to hear that visits for you may improve now your husband has moved.
Thanks for the link @Louise7 .
Ive reposted on Helen Whateleys post about Alzheimer Day, lots of unhappy people, and the comments about the Winter Plan too @Kellyr .
I've actually had a reply from mums MP, but unfortunately he's praising Boris moonshot , saying the way forward is testing ( no mention of family testing as I'd asked) , and he's pleased that care home staff are tested weekly so our residents are kept safe.
All in all he thinks the government are doing a great job for care home residents.
No mention at all about my point that residents are deteriorating through lack of contact . No sympathy whatsoever about my mums own plight.
I shall be emailing back to ask him to address these specifically !! The fight goes on.
Was just reading all the comments on Facebook rightsforresidents. So many awful stories and rels feeling like theyre at breaking point. This is all so bad for everyones health. People starting to feel the carehomes are all too happy to keep us out What a shame everyone who is paying privately couldnt refuse to pay the fees until they start being more reasonable! All this rubbish about 'following the guidelines' suits them down to the ground! Some people are reccomending getting in touch with local newspapers...I might give it a go