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Has the new guidance on visiting care homes actually lifted visiting restrictions at all?

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,422
South coast
Sorry @Weasell , the heat is getting to me and Im feeling grouchy.

I have also met too many people while Im out shopping who say that they dont wear a mask because they "cant breathe". My cleaner wears a mask while she is cleaning - two hours with a mask on; and the carers who come to help OH also wear a mask while they are at clients and this can (and often does, I gather) require them doing housework. I always wear a mask as soon as I leave the house until I return. No its not comfortable, but its really not that bad.

Anyway, I hadnt intended to intrude on this conversation , so Ill just butt out now.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,705
So dont hoover I say!
Have an ice lolly instead!
That's the most sensible advice I've heard for a while. I went upstairs to put my gym gear on to do an exercise video then decided that was an extremely silly idea, so I'm downstairs on the sofa with the fan on surfing the net instead.
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
55
I must say that I have been in the same position as the earlier reports, My wife has Alzheimer's and has been in a care home for over 5 years. I have not been able to go into the home since March. Some outdoor visits have been made but as said they are from 2 metres and I have to wear a mask. Essentially I get no reaction as she doesn't open her eyes. We miss the personal contact. Like has been said the homes seem to arrange a one size fits all rule which may work for some but it doesn't for me. I have written to my MP on 28 June but so far I have only received an acknowledgement. Since then the Government guidance was issued on 31st July which seems to pass the decision onto local organisations. We live in hope.
Hi ..the quidance says that it shouldnt be a one size fits all approach and each resident should be assesed individually especially if they have dementia. Sadly the homes are not doing this and no one is forcing them. The whole thing is a disgrace😡
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
55
Hi
this is the first time I have posted but read lots of intresting tips and ideas over the years.
My mum went into a nursing home from hospital 5 weeks ago. We are lucky in some respects she has a window that we can talk to her through but all we want to do is hold her hand, my dad is distraught she is also asking to come home.. What I am struggling with is why ? cant we sit with disposable gloves on and hold her hand as that's all she wants ....what qualitity of life life have they got not having physical touch -how long can this go on for to think i cant hold her hand or give her a hug is heart breaking. :(
No disrespect to the carers but they can be in the pub all weekend and they got every right to if that is what they want but we cant even with ppe touch our loved ones .
is it worth writing to our MPS as we depriving our loved ones of basic human right.
Ive written twice to my MP but no response as yet..You should definitely try as the more pple who flag these issues up, the better the chance of some change. Ive not hugged my Mum for 5 months now and it seems ridiculous that carers are coming and going as you say but we cant get near our loved ones even with ppe on!
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
55
My Mum's homwvare still not allowing any visiting, not even in the garden. They don't have any cases. They said that they couldn't open because they hadn't had any guidance from our local public health department. That guidance was sent a week ago and still nothing.

I have only been given 3 phone calls since lockdown began. Mum doesn't know who I am anymore.

It's a private home so my concern is that just don't want to spend money on facilitating visits. They know I can't move her because it would be too distressing.

Who can I complain to?
Hi Helen I feel exactly like you and really appreciate what youre going through. The Government has given the homes all the power to make their own decisions and theyre abusing it now. Its no longer about infection control, but making life easier for them and even considering the money we're forced to pay every week, its a travesty. Im guessing theres not a Head Office to complain to (even if there was, you probably wouldnt get very far) so all you can do is lobby your local MP which Ive done, in the hope that if enough people say something, they will have to take these issues seriously. Theres also an organisation called Relatives and Relatives Association and you can speak to them re your concerns. Good luck :)
 

granny shoe

Registered User
Jul 14, 2020
21
Hi granny shoe,
Thankyou for your information on your current discussions. Yes these are issues I am worrying about everyday. What would happen if I was I'll, what if carers brought it in ? Mums also a night wanderer. But also how do I live with not looking after my own mum with family, she's worked hard all her life ,looked after us and never wanted to be there. The staff just have no time at all, it's all about cleaning now and preventing them mixing with anyone in the home. I've tried talk about it with manager recently but she's not really understanding and there's been issues I've not been happy about with her before lockdown. In end I asked her to send me complaints form but as yet not filled it in . Residents are so vulnerable now without any outside contact. The manager has to answer complaints herself and only if still not resolved do they got to trustee board . Still very undecided what to do. Be interested to hear how you're getting on. Thanks.
Dear Louie 16, very sorry that the care home are so exclusively focusing on infection control. It's important but so is quality of life. I've come to the conclusion that it will be too risky to move my husband home but I've been lucky. I've had such a lot of help from my husband's social worker to help me make that decision. He has a social worker because he was under section 3 of the mental health act . The social worker has been brilliant in finding out exactly what my husband needs to keep him safe and comfortable and at what time of day. He needs more help now than I'd realised. He can't stand and due to an underlying cancer and weight loss he is at high risk of pressure sores. We would need two carers at least six times every 24 hours to move him plus help at night to manage his agitation. That's a lot of people coming into the house and increases the risk of us both getting Covid. Since I raised the possibility of moving my husband the nursing home has increased my visits. I'm now able to see him almost every day but still outside. There has been some national problem with getting weekly test kits out to nursing homes and apparently that is a big factor in holding up any inside visits. These have been such awful times for people in nursing homes and for the people who run them. You'd think that the homes would be a priority now for the test kits! I hope you can get some help in making what is a very difficult decision. Do consider your own needs as well.
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
720
Hi Helen I feel exactly like you and really appreciate what youre going through. The Government has given the homes all the power to make their own decisions and theyre abusing it now. Its no longer about infection control, but making life easier for them and even considering the money we're forced to pay every week, its a travesty. Im guessing theres not a Head Office to complain to (even if there was, you probably wouldnt get very far) so all you can do is lobby your local MP which Ive done, in the hope that if enough people say something, they will have to take these issues seriously. Theres also an organisation called Relatives and Relatives Association and you can speak to them re your concerns. Good luck :)
@Kellyr I've just seen a post on the Dementia Friends Facebook page regarding the government guidance, there’s a link for you to e mail your local councillor about care homes not following the guidance. I’m sorry I don’t know how to post the link.
 

granny shoe

Registered User
Jul 14, 2020
21
Dear Louie 16, very sorry that the care home are so exclusively focusing on infection control. It's important but so is quality of life. I've come to the conclusion that it will be too risky to move my husband home but I've been lucky. I've had such a lot of help from my husband's social worker to help me make that decision. He has a social worker because he was under section 3 of the mental health act . The social worker has been brilliant in finding out exactly what my husband needs to keep him safe and comfortable and at what time of day. He needs more help now than I'd realised. He can't stand and due to an underlying cancer and weight loss he is at high risk of pressure sores. We would need two carers at least six times every 24 hours to move him plus help at night to manage his agitation. That's a lot of people coming into the house and increases the risk of us both getting Covid. Since I raised the possibility of moving my husband the nursing home has increased my visits. I'm now able to see him almost every day but still outside. There has been some national problem with getting weekly test kits out to nursing homes and apparently that is a big factor in holding up any inside visits. These have been such awful times for people in nursing homes and for the people who run them. You'd think that the homes would be a priority now for the test kits! I hope you can get some help in making what is a very difficult decision. Do consider your own needs as well.
ps I saw a reference to the Relatives and Residents Association in another post. They helped me a lot when I was looking after my Dad. If you have concerns about your mum's home and want to talk that through with someone, they might be able to help. Their website says" we are here to support and inform residents, families and friends to find out all they need to know about care and to help them if things go wrong."
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
55
@Kellyr I've just seen a post on the Dementia Friends Facebook page regarding the government guidance, there’s a link for you to e mail your local councillor about care homes not following the guidance. I’m sorry I don’t know how to post the link.
Thanks very much I will take a look!
 

Louie16

Registered User
Mar 31, 2020
34
ps I saw a reference to the Relatives and Residents Association in another post. They helped me a lot when I was looking after my Dad. If you have concerns about your mum's home and want to talk that through with someone, they might be able to help. Their website says" we are here to support and inform residents, families and friends to find out all they need to know about care and to help them if things go wrong."
Hello granny shoe.
Thanks for update on your current circumstances and your husband's health. Sounds like you've got really good social worker who's been very helpful for you both which is great comfort and you've had some really positive outcomes now you can see him everyday. Great for you both. Yes the residential home are purely focusing on infection control,but since giving my concerns to manager about lack of info and clarity they're now emailing weekly update on possible visits as agreed with Wolves council. I had visit in garden on weds, they'd unfortunately put my visit in diary for Thurs so at first they were insisting that I'd have to go and come back next day a 2 hour round trip. The garden is very big so I said I'll see her today as can't come back tomorrow and sit well away from other relative visiting, but could see this was still annoying them even tho we were opp side of garde. Mum was drowsy didn't look up hardly, still feels very sad She doesn't need 2 carers to move like yr husband so only in residential care but I'm unsure still what to do. Myself and husband both just retired so it would be big change to our plans if I brought her home. Thankyou for friends and relatives link also which I will definitely contact now to talk to someone. Good luck with all you future visits and time together. @Kellyr @Baker17
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
720
Hello granny shoe.
Thanks for update on your current circumstances and your husband's health. Sounds like you've got really good social worker who's been very helpful for you both which is great comfort and you've had some really positive outcomes now you can see him everyday. Great for you both. Yes the residential home are purely focusing on infection control,but since giving my concerns to manager about lack of info and clarity they're now emailing weekly update on possible visits as agreed with Wolves council. I had visit in garden on weds, they'd unfortunately put my visit in diary for Thurs so at first they were insisting that I'd have to go and come back next day a 2 hour round trip. The garden is very big so I said I'll see her today as can't come back tomorrow and sit well away from other relative visiting, but could see this was still annoying them even tho we were opp side of garde. Mum was drowsy didn't look up hardly, still feels very sad She doesn't need 2 carers to move like yr husband so only in residential care but I'm unsure still what to do. Myself and husband both just retired so it would be big change to our plans if I brought her home. Thankyou for friends and relatives link also which I will definitely contact now to talk to someone. Good luck with all you future visits and time together. @Kellyr @Baker17
@Louie16 just been to my husband’s home to say I’m furious is an understatement. I was there yesterday and did a window visit got home and one of the supervisors rang to say he needed toiletries so I got them and went this morning. On my arrival there was someone waiting to do a window visit with her mum I told the woman in the office I might as well do a window visit, she said what times your appointment I said I don’t need one it’s a window visit, yes you do she said, since when I said, since today she said. I told her I’d been on a window visit yesterday and no one had said the rules were changing, at this point a supervisor appears so I said what’s going on? She said I’m just back from leave so I don’t know I asked her to get the manager, she went to her office and came back and said she’s in a meeting but on this occasion you can do a window visit and she asked the woman who was waiting for an outside visit if she was aware of the rule change, she no no one had been in contact about any changes. I went and saw my husband at the window which lasts about two minutes because he says hello I love you come in and then wanders off. So I went back to the office and there’s the manager talking to some supervisors, she took off at the speed of light when she saw me. The supervisor said to me I’ll try and find out what’s going on and left and I went to leave, after I went out of the front door I turned round and went back and said to the woman in the office I book a window visit for Sunday, she said there’s no weekend visits allowed now. The woman was still waiting to see her mother and she wasn’t aware of that change either, well I lost it big style then and left. When I was in the car I phoned the service manager who is above the manager, it went to voicemail surprise surprise.
I then got a call from the supervisor who said that windows visits could go ahead at weekends but I would need to phone ahead to ensure there were enough staff! It’s a window visit for gods sake I can’t exactly touch him through a double glazed window.
I really don’t know when this is going to be sorted they are just making rules up as they go along and definitely not following government guidelines 🤬😡🤯
 

Wife B

Registered User
Oct 13, 2017
15
I got very excited about the news on Wednesday that relatives in care homes were about to be reunited with their loved ones. However when I read the actual guidance nothing seems to have changed from what was already happening in most homes. My husband's care home has certainly interpreted the guidance as confirming that no changes will occur, even though the number of new Covid cases is very low here. I'm still limited to a weekly garden visit at about 2.5 metres distance and wearing a mask unless the wind is not blowing in the direction of my husband! Has anybody had any good news on care home visiting since this Governement guidance was issued?
The home my husband is in just has window visits with a narrow bit to talk through but also has Skype and FaceTime calls.
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
55
@Louie16 just been to my husband’s home to say I’m furious is an understatement. I was there yesterday and did a window visit got home and one of the supervisors rang to say he needed toiletries so I got them and went this morning. On my arrival there was someone waiting to do a window visit with her mum I told the woman in the office I might as well do a window visit, she said what times your appointment I said I don’t need one it’s a window visit, yes you do she said, since when I said, since today she said. I told her I’d been on a window visit yesterday and no one had said the rules were changing, at this point a supervisor appears so I said what’s going on? She said I’m just back from leave so I don’t know I asked her to get the manager, she went to her office and came back and said she’s in a meeting but on this occasion you can do a window visit and she asked the woman who was waiting for an outside visit if she was aware of the rule change, she no no one had been in contact about any changes. I went and saw my husband at the window which lasts about two minutes because he says hello I love you come in and then wanders off. So I went back to the office and there’s the manager talking to some supervisors, she took off at the speed of light when she saw me. The supervisor said to me I’ll try and find out what’s going on and left and I went to leave, after I went out of the front door I turned round and went back and said to the woman in the office I book a window visit for Sunday, she said there’s no weekend visits allowed now. The woman was still waiting to see her mother and she wasn’t aware of that change either, well I lost it big style then and left. When I was in the car I phoned the service manager who is above the manager, it went to voicemail surprise surprise.
I then got a call from the supervisor who said that windows visits could go ahead at weekends but I would need to phone ahead to ensure there were enough staff! It’s a window visit for gods sake I can’t exactly touch him through a double glazed window.
I really don’t know when this is going to be sorted they are just making rules up as they go along and definitely not following government guidelines 🤬😡🤯
@Louie16 Gosh I thought I had it bad but your situation sounds infuriating! I just read your previous post as well and can sympathise with that too. I feel the manager of my mums home is being extra hard on me, most likely because Ive been very pro active in her care and she doesnt like it! Ive had no updates throughout the whole period and it feels like she puts up barriers instead of trying to be helpful. I think shes loving the fact shes now got all this power to keep me at arms length but this isnt a game - peoples lives and wellbeing are being impacted by the way these homes are handling things. Ive just emailed a detailed account of my experiences to the change@alzheimers.org.uk website as theyre keen to get peoples views (cant remember who on here mentioned them). Maybe you could do the same. It feels like this worry and stress is going to go on for ever but if we get our stories out there, hopefully things will change 🙂
 

Louie16

Registered User
Mar 31, 2020
34
@Louie16 Gosh I thought I had it bad but your situation sounds infuriating! I just read your previous post as well and can sympathise with that too. I feel the manager of my mums home is being extra hard on me, most likely because Ive been very pro active in her care and she doesnt like it! Ive had no updates throughout the whole period and it feels like she puts up barriers instead of trying to be helpful. I think shes loving the fact shes now got all this power to keep me at arms length but this isnt a game - peoples lives and wellbeing are being impacted by the way these homes are handling things. Ive just emailed a detailed account of my experiences to the change@alzheimers.org.uk website as theyre keen to get peoples views (cant remember who on here mentioned them). Maybe you could do the same. It feels like this worry and stress is going to go on for ever but if we get our stories out there, hopefully things will change 🙂
Oh goodness. Just so maddening when you're already feeling upset with situation I really empathize. The manager at our home left it with admin staff to sort out with me yesterday yet she was in the office six feet away and could hear conversation but she avoided me like plague also. It feels like lot of managers have lost sight of psychological care altogether. I've just had lengthy discussion with residents and relatives Assoc. Was really useful , I know what need to write in letter to Trustee board now and also request social worker review of mums mental health so they can address if meeting her needs. Good luck to us all I say , keep up questions and awareness raising.
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
720
@Louie16 Gosh I thought I had it bad but your situation sounds infuriating! I just read your previous post as well and can sympathise with that too. I feel the manager of my mums home is being extra hard on me, most likely because Ive been very pro active in her care and she doesnt like it! Ive had no updates throughout the whole period and it feels like she puts up barriers instead of trying to be helpful. I think shes loving the fact shes now got all this power to keep me at arms length but this isnt a game - peoples lives and wellbeing are being impacted by the way these homes are handling things. Ive just emailed a detailed account of my experiences to the change@alzheimers.org.uk website as theyre keen to get peoples views (cant remember who on here mentioned them). Maybe you could do the same. It feels like this worry and stress is going to go on for ever but if we get our stories out there, hopefully things will change 🙂
@Louie16 after I’d posted this I phoned our social worker to bring her up to speed because there is a meeting on teams next week to supposedly discuss how to make outside visiting better for me and my husband. I then phoned the service manager and got through, I bet he wishes he hadn’t answered the call. The first thing he said was hello how are you? Well you can imagine. He said he wasn’t based at my husband’s home anymore, bearing in mind he’s the service for all the council run homes in the county I don’t think that really cuts the mustard. It ending up with him saying he would find out what was going on, I couldn’t believe he said that. He said he he would be back in touch today, well it’s 4pm and my phone hasn’t rung surprise surprise!
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
55
@Louie16 after I’d posted this I phoned our social worker to bring her up to speed because there is a meeting on teams next week to supposedly discuss how to make outside visiting better for me and my husband. I then phoned the service manager and got through, I bet he wishes he hadn’t answered the call. The first thing he said was hello how are you? Well you can imagine. He said he wasn’t based at my husband’s home anymore, bearing in mind he’s the service for all the council run homes in the county I don’t think that really cuts the mustard. It ending up with him saying he would find out what was going on, I couldn’t believe he said that. He said he he would be back in touch today, well it’s 4pm and my phone hasn’t rung surprise surprise!
The problem with all of this is that the endless drip drip of annoyance accumulates until it gets to the point where you want to blow a gasket! It just shouldnt be like this....at least you have a social worker wish I had one. Hope you hear something positive soon, keep us posted how you get on..
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
55
The problem with all of this is that the endless drip drip of annoyance accumulates until it gets to the point where you want to blow a gasket! It just shouldnt be like this....at least you have a social worker wish I had one. Hope you hear something positive soon, keep us posted how you get on..
Sorry im getting abit confused about who Im replying to! The layout of this forum is abit confusing for me! Anyway good luck
 

Louie16

Registered User
Mar 31, 2020
34
Sorry im getting abit confused about who Im replying to! The layout of this forum is abit confusing for me! Anyway good luck
Hi yes sounds like there's total mixed messaging from manager with your home and avoidance which is same with manager at mums. Has your meeting been sorted through a duty social worker locally to improve your visits ? Wasn't sure who you'd been able get to help sort it. I've got to wait for duty s w to ring me, mums not got an appointed s .w. so it could be a while before anything starts move forward. I totally understand about the continual drip that builds up.... I've been feeling like going mad and just going there to kidnap her. I have to sit down today to write a calm letter to the Trustee board, maybe this will help. Let me know how they help improve yr visiting. Good luck.
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
55
Hi yes sounds like there's total mixed messaging from manager with your home and avoidance which is same with manager at mums. Has your meeting been sorted through a duty social worker locally to improve your visits ? Wasn't sure who you'd been able get to help sort it. I've got to wait for duty s w to ring me, mums not got an appointed s .w. so it could be a while before anything starts move forward. I totally understand about the continual drip that builds up.... I've been feeling like going mad and just going there to kidnap her. I have to sit down today to write a calm letter to the Trustee board, maybe this will help. Let me know how they help improve yr visiting. Good luck.
Hi I really need to address this situation one way or another but not sure how successful I will be until the government makes some changes around the guidance. I think they need to put some things in black and white or the c/homes will keep taking the micky. Really hope that happens soon as this isnt a sustainable situation and not looking forward to how things will be when its winter/flu season etc. My mums self funding so not sure if she can get a social worker :/