Carehome Visits

anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
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The new guidance only allow indoor visits with floor to ceiling screens , most homes won't have these in place so there will just be outdoor and window visits. In November?? Government won't listen to family members being tested until there is more of an outcry than there has been already. On Helen W Facebook post she is claiming it's so much better for visits now, everyone else who is leaving a comment is not agreeing!!!! Please leave a comment and continue to campaign with Rights for Residents and John's Campaign
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
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The narrative on care home visits has always been framed on the need to protect residents FROM THEIR OWN RELATIVES. Yet there is no supporting evidence whatsover. Common sense strongly suggests the opposite, which is supported by recent SAGE research. Banning controlled visits from key relatives is no more logical than banning all care home employees. Relatives are being made to pay the price of the reprehensible policy in the first wave of seeding CV from hospitals into care homes. And the vast majority of care homes, meant to be person centered but in reality only profit centered, are only too happy to keep family visitors out.
Agreed, well said!
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
589
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The narrative on care home visits has always been framed on the need to protect residents FROM THEIR OWN RELATIVES. Yet there is no supporting evidence whatsover. Common sense strongly suggests the opposite, which is supported by recent SAGE research. Banning controlled visits from key relatives is no more logical than banning all care home employees. Relatives are being made to pay the price of the reprehensible policy in the first wave of seeding CV from hospitals into care homes. And the vast majority of care homes, meant to be person centered but in reality only profit centered, are only too happy to keep family visitors out.
I think that's a bit harsh. Staff can be monitored much better than family visitors so the risk is higher letting family members in than staff. Not all family members will be careful to minimise their own risk. Also, for care homes, visiting family used to help with care of the residents so were not just a nuisance. Video conversations usually require more staff support than a family member sitting beside the resident as few elderly people can operate an iPad on their own.
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
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I am currently in the situation where my husband was sectioned because of a rapid deterioration due in part to him not being able to spend many happy hours with him. When the sectioning happened I was devastated, but, it has turned out the the best thing that could have happened, they’ve weaned him off the respridone which had turned him from a happy man to a zombie like state and he’s now on a very low dose of an anti depressant which has brought him back to a human being.
Another very big plus is that I can see him inside, no screens and because he does recognise me with a mask on I can take my mask off when he comes into the room so as he knows it’s me. He says I love and we hold hands and have even had a cuddle, I wear gloves and apron after this I put my mask back on but he knows it’s me! This has been written into his care plan.
The biggest dread I have is when he’s discharged to a home that all this will stop so things will go backwards and it will be back to square one.
 

anxious annie

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Jan 2, 2019
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I must say I agree with @Lone Wolf and don't think @MartinWL that staff can be "monitored" much better than family members. Staff are free to do as they please once they finish work. Pre Lockdown this meant going to the pub, restaurant, on holiday, mixing with friends etc. Sadly yesterday morning I received a phone call saying all residents having to isolate in their own rooms as a member of staff has tested positive. I think there have been many such cases in homes around the country, so covid will always "get in". We can't eliminate the risk of staff, or family members, spreading infection, we just have to minimise the risk with testing of both. And we have to balance this risk , with the balance to deteriorating mental health , if we prohibit family visits. I hope @Baker17 that things resolve soon, with pressure from campaign groups, and face to face and touch will be allowed in all settings.
 

Chaplin

Registered User
May 24, 2015
107
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Bristol
I must say I agree with @Lone Wolf and don't think @MartinWL that staff can be "monitored" much better than family members. Staff are free to do as they please once they finish work. Pre Lockdown this meant going to the pub, restaurant, on holiday, mixing with friends etc. Sadly yesterday morning I received a phone call saying all residents having to isolate in their own rooms as a member of staff has tested positive. I think there have been many such cases in homes around the country, so covid will always "get in". We can't eliminate the risk of staff, or family members, spreading infection, we just have to minimise the risk with testing of both. And we have to balance this risk , with the balance to deteriorating mental health , if we prohibit family visits. I hope @Baker17 that things resolve soon, with pressure from campaign groups, and face to face and touch will be allowed in all settings.
I agree @anxious annie, my mum’s home is in second 28 lockdown within the past month, due to staff carrying the virus! Families have not been in the building since 23rd March so it’s obvious the risk from staff is as high as potential visits from screened visitors. Matt Hancock and Helen Whately obviously have no insight into dementia and the impact it has on the PWD and the family members, who allegedly were part of my mum’s care plan when she moved into the care home last October. My mum still packs away her things everyday thinking she is coming home! There doesn’t seem to be enough staff on duty to assist with Skype calls, they set it up then leave mum with the tablet which she doesn’t know how to use so her calls with my dad can be very difficult and upsetting for them both. We must all continue to lobby our local MPs so that our personal experiences can be shared in Parliament on 12th November, unless they cancel that too!
 

Lone Wolf

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Sep 20, 2020
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I think that's a bit harsh. Staff can be monitored much better than family visitors so the risk is higher letting family members in than staff. Not all family members will be careful to minimise their own risk. Also, for care homes, visiting family used to help with care of the residents so were not just a nuisance. Video conversations usually require more staff support than a family member sitting beside the resident as few elderly people can operate an iPad on their own.
I am not sure how staff can be monitored off-site, and on-site both staff and visitors can equally be monitored. It is also trite to say that not all staff members will be careful to minimise their own risk. But key visitor family members have a strong incentive to minimise their risk, particularly if in an older age category as is frequently the case, and in such cases highly likely to be living in low risk ways. Moreover, key family visitors have the greatest incentive of all, not to risk t life of their much loved care home relative. I am not aware of any evidence whatsoever that key visitors as a category pose a higher risk than staff - SAGE advice implies the opposite. Video conversations are unworkable for dementia residents with severe cognitive impairment, such residents suffering the most from the visitor lockdown.
 

anxious annie

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Jan 2, 2019
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Sorry to hear the situation for your mum and dad @Chaplin , lockdown in the home is so hard for residents and family . Skype/ FaceTime doesn't always work, mum's keeps freezing and we have to phone for help. It's rubbish!
 

Quizbunny

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Nov 20, 2011
126
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I haven’t seen my mother since early March. She would not be able to manage garden visits and window visits wouldn’t work for her either. I and my husband have both retired and have health conditions that mean we are very careful. We only really go out to buy food and when necessary attend medical appointments. I am not allowed to have a meaningful visit with mum. Not allowed to hold her hand and tell her I love her. The carers at her CH are lovely but at the end of their shifts they go shopping, they mix with their friends, their extended family, they use public transport and welcome their children home from school.

Who is the greater potential risk do you think.
 

Lone Wolf

Registered User
Sep 20, 2020
98
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I haven’t seen my mother since early March. She would not be able to manage garden visits and window visits wouldn’t work for her either. I and my husband have both retired and have health conditions that mean we are very careful. We only really go out to buy food and when necessary attend medical appointments. I am not allowed to have a meaningful visit with mum. Not allowed to hold her hand and tell her I love her. The carers at her CH are lovely but at the end of their shifts they go shopping, they mix with their friends, their extended family, they use public transport and welcome their children home from school.

Who is the greater potential risk do you think.
I heard Ross Kemp being interviewed on the radio today. He said that several weeks ago he did a FaceTime with Barbara Windsor, but that it did not go well at all because of her continuing decline. That is the reality for care home residents with severe dementia. Just as not all jobs can be done from home, nor can all visits be done by video link. As late stage dementia worsens, and even talking by phone becomes unworkable, the ability to feel emotions may still remain, but it is impossible to evoke those emotions by phone, video or window visits.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
589
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I must say I agree with @Lone Wolf and don't think @MartinWL that staff can be "monitored" much better than family members. Staff are free to do as they please once they finish work. Pre Lockdown this meant going to the pub, restaurant, on holiday, mixing with friends etc. Sadly yesterday morning I received a phone call saying all residents having to isolate in their own rooms as a member of staff has tested positive. I think there have been many such cases in homes around the country, so covid will always "get in". We can't eliminate the risk of staff, or family members, spreading infection, we just have to minimise the risk with testing of both. And we have to balance this risk , with the balance to deteriorating mental health , if we prohibit family visits. I hope @Baker17 that things resolve soon, with pressure from campaign groups, and face to face and touch will be allowed in all settings.
Care home managers know their staff and subject to the availability of tests can get them regularly tested, which they cannot do for visitors. So there are differences but of course both visitors and staff can mix in the community. Staff are seen daily or often, so in that sense are monitored. However I would concede that the difference between the groups in terms of risk is not great.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
589
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Another way to look at this is to accept that anyone coming into a care home who lives life in the community- staff, visitors, the electrician, the doctor - poses some risk. From the perspective of a manager, reducing the risk to the minimum means reducing those visits as much as possible. Staff cannot be done without, neither can safety maintenance, but visiting can. The question is whether the balance is right between the risks of permitting visits and the risks of not permitting them. ( Which are well explained by others).
 

anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
725
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I agree @MartinWL that doctors etc need to visit ( tho Drs to my mums home are extremely reluctant, resulting in a medical complaint for my mum worsening and letter of neglect written, but that is another story). They will bring an element of risk as you say, and the managers need to keep risk to a minimum ( it can never be risk free) BUT I strongly disagree when you say visiting can be done without! A 50 % increase in dementia deaths ( not covid related) would suggest visits are vital for wellbeing. It is the residents who have a right to see their family. Outside visits don't work in November so Government must facilitate indoor visits through testing. It could be done, they just don't want to spend the money for elderly people who will no longer vote!!
Staff being seen daily does not mean they are being monitored and less risk of catching coved. They may be monitored to check they are complying in the home, but so are family as visits are supposed to be guarded at al times!!!
And tests are still taking 3 days to come back at mums home.
We all know the answer, rapid tests for visitors so they are safe on the day would mean minimal risk from "visitors"
 

Lone Wolf

Registered User
Sep 20, 2020
98
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I agree @MartinWL that doctors etc need to visit ( tho Drs to my mums home are extremely reluctant, resulting in a medical complaint for my mum worsening and letter of neglect written, but that is another story). They will bring an element of risk as you say, and the managers need to keep risk to a minimum ( it can never be risk free) BUT I strongly disagree when you say visiting can be done without! A 50 % increase in dementia deaths ( not covid related) would suggest visits are vital for wellbeing. It is the residents who have a right to see their family. Outside visits don't work in November so Government must facilitate indoor visits through testing. It could be done, they just don't want to spend the money for elderly people who will no longer vote!!
Staff being seen daily does not mean they are being monitored and less risk of catching coved. They may be monitored to check they are complying in the home, but so are family as visits are supposed to be guarded at al times!!!
And tests are still taking 3 days to come back at mums home.
We all know the answer, rapid tests for visitors so they are safe on the day would mean minimal risk from "visitors"
I totally agree anxious annie. Now into the ninth month of the visitor lockout, it is difficult to convey just how much despair those of us in this situation feel. It is highly likely that that this will be my partner's last christmas, and unless common sense prevails, as in other countries, I will neither be able to see her, nor speak to her, let alone be with her.
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
821
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I agree @MartinWL that doctors etc need to visit ( tho Drs to my mums home are extremely reluctant, resulting in a medical complaint for my mum worsening and letter of neglect written, but that is another story). They will bring an element of risk as you say, and the managers need to keep risk to a minimum ( it can never be risk free) BUT I strongly disagree when you say visiting can be done without! A 50 % increase in dementia deaths ( not covid related) would suggest visits are vital for wellbeing. It is the residents who have a right to see their family. Outside visits don't work in November so Government must facilitate indoor visits through testing. It could be done, they just don't want to spend the money for elderly people who will no longer vote!!
Staff being seen daily does not mean they are being monitored and less risk of catching coved. They may be monitored to check they are complying in the home, but so are family as visits are supposed to be guarded at al times!!!
And tests are still taking 3 days to come back at mums home.
We all know the answer, rapid tests for visitors so they are safe on the day would mean minimal risk from "visitors"
@anxious annie I totally agree with you one of the staff at my husband’s home said when I asked her if she’d been tested, I’m not having that done it looks uncomfortable! Testing is not mandatory for staff why? I spoke to another home manager who said her all of her staff were eager to be tested. To say I wasn’t happy about my husband’s home is an understatement especially as she was my husband’s key worker. She actually made me wear mask, gloves and apron for a closed window visit when she wouldn’t take a test.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
2,307
0
North West
Another way to look at this is to accept that anyone coming into a care home who lives life in the community- staff, visitors, the electrician, the doctor - poses some risk. From the perspective of a manager, reducing the risk to the minimum means reducing those visits as much as possible. Staff cannot be done without, neither can safety maintenance, but visiting can. The question is whether the balance is right between the risks of permitting visits and the risks of not permitting them. ( Which are well explained by others).

I am not sure I agree with you @MartinWL . My own experince of this is not unique. So lets backtrack at what happened in my mums care home. The first manager sat on their hands and did nothing to address visiting from March through to summer. During that time I wrote to the care home head office who honestly could not give me any company directions on visiting in care homes but did say they were following 'government guidance' -clearly they weren't because the care home at that point hadn't made any arrangements to re-establish visiting when the restrictions had clearly been eased. I wrote to my MP who in turn contacted various agencies including the care home company and the director of public health for the area, who after some time emailed a formal letter stating their approach to re-eastablishing visiting. In that time frame the previous manager was sacked -no doubt through numerous complaints from families. Within a few weeks the new manager had through hard work managed to put into place a plan to open up to visiting which she finally achieved and which ran for two weeks before the area started to see a rise in Covid-19 cases and the home made the decision to then stop visiting again. In those two weeks I saw my mum once and had booked to see her on her birthday, which was consequently not permitted. There were no reported cases of Covid-19 in the home after that two week period of visiting. They allowed visits inside the home in an allocated room with PPE.

Now the second point of my long rhetoric is this, care homes are not closing to visiting because of substantial risk to residents per se, they are closing to visiting based on area numbers of cases, this is the general guidance from PH -which has no bearing on what impact this has on residents on care homes, but is targeted at the spread of Covid-19 in the wider community. Now this is where the common sense bit falls away because one size does not fit all -in other words what may be appropriate for one group in society is not for another. I am also unsure as to why visiting is reduced as cases increase because in a national lockdown we are all effectively isolating anyway, so even if you lived in a high risk area (a meaningless statement) you would pose no greater risk than if you lived in a 'less risky area'. But the term 'risk' is not useful in a situation where Covid-19 is practically becoming endemic in any event. I think we need to start using terms like 'accepted risk' instead.