Care home visitor lockdown

Sarah1208

Registered User
Jun 22, 2020
96
So sorry to hear Sarah, but yes if you are in a situation where health is so badly affected you do what you must. Sadly not all care homes appropriately deal with such needs either, hence the reason I am trying to help a freind get her mum back home.. in her case it seems the care home are happy not to help with food or fluids etc.. most care homes do.. but her situation is bad in care.. cannot believe agency prevented a family member from providimg assistance though.. surely that is against her best interests and legally unenforcable? But I understand why tgey would do so given the governments advice that leaves it as their responsibility if one gets covid.. so sorry they acted this way and hope that both you and mum are ok.. big hugs
Thanks so much for your reply. I know now I should have fought the agency to let me carry on caring for mum but I know why they wouldn’t and it was all such a whirlwind I’m sure we all thought it might only last 2 weeks!! I’m a key worker too so it wouldn’t have been ideal me going to work them mums house. Some days I want to move mum to another home, she hates it there, but she would probably hate anywhere. She had lived in her house for 53 years, it was where I grew up. I promised I would never make her leave it. But I wasn’t prepared for dementia and I had to break that promise. Then I promised I would always visit her and never leave her....another promise broken. Sorry to moan but this is the only place people understand. I’m having a bad few days.
 

Nikkifrommars

Registered User
Sep 27, 2020
12
I don't feel criticised. The subject of care homes visits is an emotive topic but I try to take a balanced view of things and post up any news that other members may be interested in. Some care homes are working hard to ensure that families remain connected with their loved ones within the constraints that they have, others are maybe not being so proactive, and I think everyone is well aware that there are inconsistencies, but I can only speak from experience of what mum's care home is doing. I'm sure that everyone with a loved one in a care home at the moment is concerned about the situation regardless of how they wish to show this, or what action they feel they should take. There needs to be a balance between keeping residents safe and maintaining their contact with family but it's not a simple problem to resolve, although there does seem to be a lot going on 'behind the scenes'. Hopefully things will change for the better and in the meantime, to quote a phrase which can seem trite at times, people will continue to be nice to each other and appreciate differing views, even if they don't agree with them.
Absolutely true that there are massive inconsistencies.. some homes have allowed no visits since pre march.. some allow normal visiting (very few) now, but didnt for months, most that do allow visiting is more akin to prison visiting at best.. 20 mins at most for only one named carer/family member, outdoors with stafg present etc and booked a week in advance.. it varies so much and is impossible to challenge, but I do know that alzheimers society, age uk and others are petitioning against and posing legal challenges as it does breach human rights laws etc.. Hope all works out for you and
Thanks so much for your reply. I know now I should have fought the agency to let me carry on caring for mum but I know why they wouldn’t and it was all such a whirlwind I’m sure we all thought it might only last 2 weeks!! I’m a key worker too so it wouldn’t have been ideal me going to work them mums house. Some days I want to move mum to another home, she hates it there, but she would probably hate anywhere. She had lived in her house for 53 years, it was where I grew up. I promised I would never make her leave it. But I wasn’t prepared for dementia and I had to break that promise. Then I promised I would always visit her and never leave her....another promise broken. Sorry to moan but this is the only place people understand. I’m having a bad few days.
Oh hun.. I am so sorry.. it is so hard at present. Hope things get better for you soon.. big hugs.. xx
 

Wifenotcarer

Registered User
Mar 11, 2018
321
Central Scotland
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😡
Be careful what you wish for carers. My 2 daughters and I have unlimited day and night visiting with close contact now. Why? - Because OH is on end of life care in hospital. He was given 48 hours 8 days ago but is still with us, in body if not in spirit. What I would give to have him back in his lovely Care Home even if I could not see him at all.
 

Whisperer

Registered User
Mar 27, 2017
218
Dear @Sarah1208

I have read through your recent posts and I can only express my sympathy for your position. Nothing I can say will change the current lockdown situation as regards care homes. That said I would simply say please be a little more gentle with yourself regarding “broken promises“.

1) You say your first broken promise was placing your mum in a care home after promising she could stay in her own home. That promise was I believe you say prior to her Dementia appearing. You did your best to keep it, but her needs eventually outweighed her wants. I gently say to you that there was little real alternative choice open to you. As you say as a key worker then visiting your mum in her home would not have been wise. There were risks, you took a decision for a loved one, in trying and unpredictable circumstances, no one knowing where things would move to. I live with my mum who is shielding. When my siblings agreed to stop visiting in early March we all thought for a relatively short period, but now at least a year. No one knew how this year would unfold. Please always remember no one had a crystal ball or twenty twenty vision in March 2020.
2) You cannot keep your promise to visit your mum in her care home. She has not settled well to date and I suggest would be unlikely to in another one. Again I gently say to you that you have not broken your promise. Covid19 and resulting visitor restrictions are beyond your control. You strike me as a very caring and loving daughter, not someone who lightly gives and breaks promises.

Please I know the emotional roller coaster of guilt, feeling you have let a loved one down, etc. Just stop for a moment and consider your position again. Did you really have any true alternatives? Did you break promises or have matters been taken out of your control? Is it helping yourself or your mum thinking that way? I read the words of a very caring daughter, working in a role which helps others not I think an employment situation based on chance? Please tone down the self criticism dial, let go of guilty feelings of letting your mum down because again gently I say to you that you do not deserve to own them. Your situation is very stressful, partly due in no small measure to events being largely outside of your control. If you could visit your mum right now you would do so without hesitation. I suggest a large measure of your feelings are based on the thought if I knew what I know now I would have acted differently. Please accept none of us have that crystal ball.

I hope my words can help you to reflect for a moment. Your mum’s Dementia, Covid19, care home visitor restrictions are all beyond your control. Please, please accept that fact in your heart and your mind. You have not failed, events have spun out of your control. As a key worker you demonstrate each day you are a person of honesty and integrity, your posts on this forum show how much you care about your mum.

I am a bloke so I can only hope I have got my points over in an acceptable way. Not easy to do but harder still to walk on by whilst a stranger is taking on more than their fair measure of guilt, for events out of their control. Just hope my comments allow you to pause and reflect. Sarah1208 sounds a pretty decent human being.
 

Nikkifrommars

Registered User
Sep 27, 2020
12
Be careful what you wish for carers. My 2 daughters and I have unlimited day and night visiting with close contact now. Why? - Because OH is on end of life care in hospital. He was given 48 hours 8 days ago but is still with us, in body if not in spirit. What I would give to have him back in his lovely Care Home even if I could not see him at all.
Sadly the reality for many is not to be offered visiting time.. even in some cases when a person is terminal and in last day or two of life.. is awful you are in that situation. Please make all you can of it for both your sakes
 

Nikkifrommars

Registered User
Sep 27, 2020
12
Dear @Sarah1208

I have read through your recent posts and I can only express my sympathy for your position. Nothing I can say will change the current lockdown situation as regards care homes. That said I would simply say please be a little more gentle with yourself regarding “broken promises“.

1) You say your first broken promise was placing your mum in a care home after promising she could stay in her own home. That promise was I believe you say prior to her Dementia appearing. You did your best to keep it, but her needs eventually outweighed her wants. I gently say to you that there was little real alternative choice open to you. As you say as a key worker then visiting your mum in her home would not have been wise. There were risks, you took a decision for a loved one, in trying and unpredictable circumstances, no one knowing where things would move to. I live with my mum who is shielding. When my siblings agreed to stop visiting in early March we all thought for a relatively short period, but now at least a year. No one knew how this year would unfold. Please always remember no one had a crystal ball or twenty twenty vision in March 2020.
2) You cannot keep your promise to visit your mum in her care home. She has not settled well to date and I suggest would be unlikely to in another one. Again I gently say to you that you have not broken your promise. Covid19 and resulting visitor restrictions are beyond your control. You strike me as a very caring and loving daughter, not someone who lightly gives and breaks promises.

Please I know the emotional roller coaster of guilt, feeling you have let a loved one down, etc. Just stop for a moment and consider your position again. Did you really have any true alternatives? Did you break promises or have matters been taken out of your control? Is it helping yourself or your mum thinking that way? I read the words of a very caring daughter, working in a role which helps others not I think an employment situation based on chance? Please tone down the self criticism dial, let go of guilty feelings of letting your mum down because again gently I say to you that you do not deserve to own them. Your situation is very stressful, partly due in no small measure to events being largely outside of your control. If you could visit your mum right now you would do so without hesitation. I suggest a large measure of your feelings are based on the thought if I knew what I know now I would have acted differently. Please accept none of us have that crystal ball.

I hope my words can help you to reflect for a moment. Your mum’s Dementia, Covid19, care home visitor restrictions are all beyond your control. Please, please accept that fact in your heart and your mind. You have not failed, events have spun out of your control. As a key worker you demonstrate each day you are a person of honesty and integrity, your posts on this forum show how much you care about your mum.

I am a bloke so I can only hope I have got my points over in an acceptable way. Not easy to do but harder still to walk on by whilst a stranger is taking on more than their fair measure of guilt, for events out of their control. Just hope my comments allow you to pause and reflect. Sarah1208 sounds a pretty decent human being.
Very true whisper @Sarah1208 you have done your absolute best under very trying circimstances.. do not drag yourself down whatever happens, but hold your head high because you tried.. hugs
. X
 

Sarah1208

Registered User
Jun 22, 2020
96
Dear @Sarah1208

I have read through your recent posts and I can only express my sympathy for your position. Nothing I can say will change the current lockdown situation as regards care homes. That said I would simply say please be a little more gentle with yourself regarding “broken promises“.

1) You say your first broken promise was placing your mum in a care home after promising she could stay in her own home. That promise was I believe you say prior to her Dementia appearing. You did your best to keep it, but her needs eventually outweighed her wants. I gently say to you that there was little real alternative choice open to you. As you say as a key worker then visiting your mum in her home would not have been wise. There were risks, you took a decision for a loved one, in trying and unpredictable circumstances, no one knowing where things would move to. I live with my mum who is shielding. When my siblings agreed to stop visiting in early March we all thought for a relatively short period, but now at least a year. No one knew how this year would unfold. Please always remember no one had a crystal ball or twenty twenty vision in March 2020.
2) You cannot keep your promise to visit your mum in her care home. She has not settled well to date and I suggest would be unlikely to in another one. Again I gently say to you that you have not broken your promise. Covid19 and resulting visitor restrictions are beyond your control. You strike me as a very caring and loving daughter, not someone who lightly gives and breaks promises.

Please I know the emotional roller coaster of guilt, feeling you have let a loved one down, etc. Just stop for a moment and consider your position again. Did you really have any true alternatives? Did you break promises or have matters been taken out of your control? Is it helping yourself or your mum thinking that way? I read the words of a very caring daughter, working in a role which helps others not I think an employment situation based on chance? Please tone down the self criticism dial, let go of guilty feelings of letting your mum down because again gently I say to you that you do not deserve to own them. Your situation is very stressful, partly due in no small measure to events being largely outside of your control. If you could visit your mum right now you would do so without hesitation. I suggest a large measure of your feelings are based on the thought if I knew what I know now I would have acted differently. Please accept none of us have that crystal ball.

I hope my words can help you to reflect for a moment. Your mum’s Dementia, Covid19, care home visitor restrictions are all beyond your control. Please, please accept that fact in your heart and your mind. You have not failed, events have spun out of your control. As a key worker you demonstrate each day you are a person of honesty and integrity, your posts on this forum show how much you care about your mum.

I am a bloke so I can only hope I have got my points over in an acceptable way. Not easy to do but harder still to walk on by whilst a stranger is taking on more than their fair measure of guilt, for events out of their control. Just hope my comments allow you to pause and reflect. Sarah1208 sounds a pretty decent human being.
Thank you so very much for taking the time for such kind words.
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
80
So sorry to hear @Kellyr that your care home manager is not at all sympathetic. I'm sure the least they could do is email how your mum is keeping and send photos of her. My mums home has a Facebook page (open to friends and family only), I had to sign a form saying I was happy to allow photos of mum to be uploaded. It has been so useful (even before covid) to see mum on photos and video clips , as I live away and was only seeing her every two months.
I do hope that you can suggest a "disclaimer" letter to the home so they can share photos for you X
Thank you @anxious annie I will look into this..x
 

Just me

Registered User
Nov 17, 2013
391
My heart would say no I would keep her at home, persevere with the carers going in and sleep there myself each night if need be. My head says I was in such a state of exhaustion that it was the right thing to do and I always knew it was on the cards. The worst part has been the timing with Covid. If I could have moved her in and got straight into a routine of visiting and taking her out etc the pain for both of us would have been easier. I can’t even really talk to the staff for updates or build any relationships like I had hoped. Mum has very lucid moments which makes it hard as she knows what’s happening to her. Sometimes I wish she didn’t. Sometimes the guilt just eats away at me and I feel physically sick. Sometimes I wish she wasn’t suffering anymore. You will make the right decision, stay strong xx
Thats exactly how I feel, heart says one thing and head another. I want to do the best thing for mum and what she needs but after a visit last week from someone at the care home she’s been so upset, saying she won’t see me, wishes she was dead, not sleeping etc. Is this the best thing for her, can I continue to cope, I honestly don’t know.
Like you I think, though it would be hard under any circumstances, the 2 week isolation and no visits makes the move so much harder. Mums fully aware there’s something ‘wrong’ with her and often asks “what’s wrong with me” and I seriously worry how a move will affect her.
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
80
Rights for residents are doing an amazing job.. Its currently easier to visit a convicted criminal than a carehome resident! Just wonder what it will take to make Matt Hancock actually listen and take action 🤔
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
323
I had quite a good Skype chat with my mother yesterday. However she could not possibly use the technology without a carer in constant attendance and support, guiding her about holding the tablet still, so I could see her etc. Due to speach problems she can't talk on a telephone. Better than nothing of course but very demanding of staff time so maybe the government should be paying for more staff to support this extra technology.
 

anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
508
Yes, @MartinWL the govt needs to fund staff for the extra time this takes, and also the time taken for staff to be "on guard" if you get an indoor visit ( chance would be a fine thing!) My mum is able to use FaceTime once the staff have set this up, but I do know that some with advancing dementia can't access FaceTime or Skype eve with staff support. They just find it too bewildering, so really indoor visits are the only way for contact over the Autumn /Winter.
I hope Boris will intervene @Kellyr , he was on Look East on Friday evening and when questioned by the presenter he said there wasn't a blanket ban on visits and "if there's a way
( for safe visits) I'll look into it". The presenter suggested testing and ppe for families, but Boris chose to ignore that!.
There's certainly a lot more media coverage through Rights for Residents so let's hope this publicity makes a difference, as writing to my MP , Helen Whately etc sadly, gets no response.
 

Helly68

Registered User
Mar 12, 2018
747
I saw the news items about IPads for care homes. I think I welcome action on this issue, but as others have said, it is more complicated than giving people IPads (this isn't a criticism).
My Mum's care home chain offered Skype and Face Time, but it was an open secret that the EMI unit had very bad WIFI reception, so I doubt anyone could have got through, even if they tried.
There's also the issue of enough staff, with time to support residents to connect with families. My experience is people would probably want to do this at the weekend, and that is when care homes have barely enough staff for the must-do tasks.
When my Mum went into end of life care, no one seemed clear if we could visit or not, especially my sister who had (legitimately) travelled from abroad to be there. I understand the risks to all and understand how hard it is for homes, but I had some staff saying I could come and be in the same room as Mummy in her last days, and some who said I could not. That made things harder, and I really don't think the home meant to do this, but they are trying to interpret national guidance.

I really feel for all those PWD and their families left in this awful situation with no idea when it might end. Its ironic that lots on the TV about students locked in their halls of residence, but less about people in care homes who have been stuck with little or no family contact for months.
 

anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
508
The restrictions must have made an incredibly hard time, even harder. Very difficult when the guidance is interpreted differently between homes, and even in the same home, as you found @Helly68 . Sorry you had to go through this at such a sad time.
Yes, there has been a bit of an uproar about the students locked in (for 2 weeks?). It's hard on everyone, but less of an outpouring for the residents locked up for over 6 months.
I hope there will be a solution soon, balancing the risks, of the clinical vulnerability to coved, and the residents needs ( mental health) .
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
760
There is going to be an item on the BBC 1 tomorrow about the current situation on visiting or should I say non visiting just after 8am, they are interviewing several campaigners from Rights for Residents.
 

Helly68

Registered User
Mar 12, 2018
747
Thank you for your concern @anxious annie . It has been an awful time, but I was very lucky to have several years when Mummy was in a care home, when she was less impacted by dementia and I could see her regularly and she had as good a quality of life as I think she would have had anywhere.
If the Scottish news is followed up on, that would be great. I think though that it will vary from home to home, depending on their COVID status which will still be very hard for some.
I hope the british government has more to say, similar to Nicola Sturgeon soon. We have heard enough generic platitudes, carers and families want clear guidance and access to their loved ones wherever the risk levels make this possible. Care homes need more support and guidance - they are often being left to make very unpopular decisions and can impact on everyone