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Crazy Care Home situation

Chaplin

Registered User
May 24, 2015
97
Bristol
There is to be an item broadcast on BBC just after 8am tomorrow about care home visits, they have interviewed several people from RIghts for Residents
I wonder if it relates to this story, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54408723
Mum’s care home have finally had a secure pod created so visits can take place. It’s a small room separated by floor to ceiling plastic screen whereby we go into our side by one doorway and mum enters from the lounge. Dad is deaf so I’m allowed to accompany him for a 20 minute visit. My sister and brother are desperate to see her too but for some odd reason that’s not permitted. I’m grateful we get 20 minutes but nothing will compensate for being able to hold her close. On a bad day she says we’ve abandoned her, and she feels all alone in the world! I’d like Helen Whately MP to sit in and explain to my mum why she cannot be close to her loved ones!
 

Hazara8

Registered User
Apr 6, 2015
547
Yes @Hazara8 , definitely protection for all. There has to be a balance taking all aspects into account, not just the current government focus on physical health. The WHO ( no, not the pop group!) defined health as ..... a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or other physical impairment.
I like to visit , as this brings my mum comfort and pleasure. I wouldn't want to bring harm to her, or any of the other residents in her care home by doing this, which is why I appeal to the government to help all care homes facilitate indoor visits safely.
Great publicity by rights for residents @Baker17 . Is this BBC Breakfast? Fingers crossed it goes ahead.
Yes, l am sure everyone sensibly understands the concept of overall protection. In the last war that was clearly defined because the physical implications were obvious and very harsh. People sheltered obediently. This microscopic invisible tiny foe has reaped havoc across the globe and despite controversial perceptions and response, remains entirely new and clearly problematical and in certain cases, lethal. The Care Homes are vulnerable and both Staff and Residents deserve protection. I am sure we, as those who have loved ones living with dementia in closed facilities, understand the challenges imposed on this sector and the enormity of outcome should residents fall prey to this virus due to infiltration, however unwitting in nature. But of course we are talking over and beyond all of this in essence. We are talking about that imperative in life which does not concern itself with personal issues or security at all. We are talking about the unbounded and untainted truth which we term 'love' and which eradicates fear and all the dross of modern life which forms the majority of lives across the whole world. That 'love' is a living thing when Care is uninhibited because it has no desire for anything. You act in total accord because the person before you is completely dependent and utterly vulnerable. You act without any semblance of being a good person or doing somebody a favour. You take hold of a frail hand because it is simply as natural as breathing the good air which sustains us. You listen to the sweet little lady who has just months to live, as she talks calmly and intelligently about her own situation, without an ounce of self pity and there is unspoken ' love' between you in that interaction. And even within the throes of a distorted dementia mind, a mind which knows nothing about Covid-19 whatsoever or protection or the very real difficulties which confront the Home they inhabit, there has to be that same indestructible gift of 'love'.
And it is because all of this sounds so fanciful, unattainable, the stuff of poets or simply unrealistic, you will have the reluctance or the given 'practicable ' reasons for a radical change. In this present situation we who possess capacity are able to curb personal wishes or pangs of melancholy and focus very meaningfully on " best interests " for those who are devoid of that capability and who are living with " feelings" and the nether world of dementia, but who are human beings and who can be given the knowing comfort of that fact in the presence of that ' love' -- even if society demands it be present behind a window of perspex.
 

None the Wiser

Registered User
Feb 3, 2020
127
I’m certain that it isn’t morally or ethically ‘right’ to effectively imprison people in care homes. Seeing someone sporadically and talking to them face to face when they have dementia is difficult enough. Seeing someone and talking to them through a Perspex wall Is almost impossible, it’s bad enough when you have all your faculties. I’m upset that care homes have not shown more compassion and put forward a strong case to government for visits by relatives to be allowed in a more humane way.
These last few months or years with loved ones can’t be retrieved. It would be different if it was someone undergoing medical treatment who has a likely chance of survival, but these are people making a stuttering exit from this world. People that we have lived with, whose hands we have held, whose laughter and experiences we have shared.
I understand that everyone is frightened, and acting responsibly according to the scientific information that we have at present. But the solutions are inhumane.
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
100
@None the Wiser Some carehmes have been better than others but I cant help thinking overall, they dont mind relatives not having access as in some ways it must make their lives simpler. Theyre in full control without much interference from us. I think some of the restrictions may not even be legal..
 

None the Wiser

Registered User
Feb 3, 2020
127
@None the Wiser Some carehmes have been better than others but I cant help thinking overall, they dont mind relatives not having access as in some ways it must make their lives simpler. Theyre in full control without much interference from us. I think some of the restrictions may not even be legal..
I agree that some care homes have been better than others, and admit that I really shouldn’t ‘tar them all with the same brush’. I also agree that it is probably easier for care homes not to have relatives around at this time. However, the inconvenient truth is that it is not in the best interests of someone with dementia and their families to be separated for months on end, and care homes should have best interests at the heart of what they do.
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
100
I agree that some care homes have been better than others, and admit that I really shouldn’t ‘tar them all with the same brush’. I also agree that it is probably easier for care homes not to have relatives around at this time. However, the inconvenient truth is that it is not in the best interests of someone with dementia and their families to be separated for months on end, and care homes should have best interests at the heart of what they do.
You would think so... especially with the money we have to pay!
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,294
The care homes are in a difficult position. They have to abide by the rules set out by the government. It's also true they doubtless find it easier not to have relatives visiting, but realistically it just isn't possible to have relatives visiting in the way we're used to.

I've just been told visits can be booked starting tomorrow - we'll be behind a glass screen with an intercom, but that's more than most care homes can offer at the moment. 30 minutes a week, as many of the family as you like at one time. It's going to be pretty hopeless, my mother won't remember who I am, she won't be able to focus long enough to have even a brief conversation, she'll probably wander off.

I am lucky that my mother's care home is lovely, and I trust the staff, but I feel very divorced from the whole process. Usually I visit whenever I like, I have my own key to her room and I go in and check what she needs (toiletries, clothing), and I see how the staff and other residents are interacting with my mother. I won't experience any of that - and as you say, we're paying a fortune for the privilege!
 

prittlewell

Registered User
Jan 28, 2020
36
It does make you wonder what is going on in some of these homes. There is NO one to monitor them, as no one is allowed in.
My DIL is a palliative care nurse and has access to homes with her patients in, but even she sometimes has difficulty getting access, unless the patient is end of life.

Perhaps they should have CCTV installed in communal areas so we could at least see our parents....
 

anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
590
This Morning, more stories highlighted the plight of isolation on care home resideants. Bradley Walsh and an MP made valuable contributions.
 
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Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
100
It was so sad watching This Morning.. Alice Beer, Holly Willoughby, Bradley Walsh and Philip Schofield all in tears! Rights for Residents have done so much to raise awareness..
 
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anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
590
In the "care home visitor lockdown "thread in the health and well being, coved slot, @Louise7 has posted a link to new guidance published by the Scottish government. It sounds hopeful for indoor visits in Scotland, although it is still left to the care home to decide if this can be done safely, so I fear many homes will decide not to open.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
397
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states "(1)It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.". It would be good to see if a test case could get through the courts on this because the homes have a clear duty to protect residents from infection but arguably the imprisonment in isolation is a clear risk to mental health as well. It would require a case to get to the court of appeal to get a judicial pronouncement on how these conflicting duties should be balanced.
 

anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
590
There seem to be different interpretations throughout the country,regardless of the tier the home is in, as to what, if any, visits can go ahead.
Even window visits cancelled, then reinstated when someone uses a bit of common sense.
I keep asking "the powers that be" what risk is a window visit, but the question just gets ignored.
When will someone be able to get a straightforward answer to this simple question?
Probably right in the middle of winter when they won't be of use for many!
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
100
Hi @anxious annie just about to email local council about that very issue as its so cruel and unessesary. My mums home has just gone into tier 2 so now only getting one 15 min video call once per week (the manager always puts restrictions on top of the restrictions!). A window visit as well would make all the difference. If I do get a straight answer I will post
 

anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
590
Hi @Kellyr it's just so unfair of managers when they do this. Window visits ( tho not ideal) are easier for the home to manage than having to set up video call, so family could have more of them too.
I have just emailed mums story into Victoria Derbyshire
victoria@bbc.co.uk I couldn't manage to talk on air, but the more emails in the better I thought.
If anyone could do this that would make more of an impact
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
100
Hi @Kellyr it's just so unfair of managers when they do this. Window visits ( tho not ideal) are easier for the home to manage than having to set up video call, so family could have more of them too.
I have just emailed mums story into Victoria Derbyshire
victoria@bbc.co.uk I couldn't manage to talk on air, but the more emails in the better I thought.
If anyone could do this that would make more of an impact
Think I will do the same as she seems quite empathetic..🙂
 

anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
590
Well the title of this thread just sums it all up. The lockdown guidance for visiting care homes, has not made things better, just crazier than ever! How many homes have a floor to ceiling Perspex screen , separate entrances ... very few that I know of. If you're lucky , and your hone has.... how does a hard of hearing person cope with the screen? Use an intercom? Like in prison? I think Helen , Matt and Boris need to come and see the reality! So for most of us it will be the joys of window or outside visits ..... IN November? Really? I find it hard to believe that this situation has gone on for 8 months, with the prospect of a hug nowhere in sight. Supposedly this is keeping residents safe. Well I heard this morning that residents are in isolation for 14 days as a member of staff has tested positive.... So keeping my mum safe, no they're not. She's now stuck in a room all by herself, and phone signal there is absolute rubbish. How can the government get away with this? Where is the support from MPs and care home managers, owners, staff to do something for the people who pay their wages!!!!
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
397
It really is difficult to resolve this as there is no question that allowing visitors into homes to give hugs would bring infection into those homes occasionally. It is clearly hard to stop the spread once the virus gets in a home. On the other hand quality of life matters a great deal too. Maybe we should accept that more care home residents will die from the virus, although in most cases this will only shorten life by months or a year or two, in order to make their last months worth living. I don't really have an answer to this but it is not as simple as demanding the right to hug.
 

Lone Wolf

Registered User
Sep 20, 2020
55
It really is difficult to resolve this as there is no question that allowing visitors into homes to give hugs would bring infection into those homes occasionally. It is clearly hard to stop the spread once the virus gets in a home. On the other hand quality of life matters a great deal too. Maybe we should accept that more care home residents will die from the virus, although in most cases this will only shorten life by months or a year or two, in order to make their last months worth living. I don't really have an answer to this but it is not as simple as demanding the right to hug.
All it requires is common sense. Yes, unrestricted visiting, as before lockdown would pose a risk. But for a number of reasons, carefully vetted key family visitors would constitute a lower risk category than care home employees. If other UK & European countries can allow proper family visits, then so too can England. Those not in this situation commonly do not seem to understand the magnitude of the distress and anxiety that family carers are feeling every day, which is intensifying as each day, week and month goes by, and let down constantly with false promises from the authorities. It is nothing but torture to be forced to see, from the limited methods of contact, your loved one constantly declining without being able to be by their side.