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INFORMATION FROM CARE HOME

ALFORD

Registered User
Mar 21, 2016
4
My wife is in residential care, understandably no relatives and friends of any resident are allowed to visit.
This of itself is very frustrating but almost as bad is that the Care Home makes no attempt to contact us
We are left wondering if all is well at the home?, how many staff are.absent ? Are there /or have there been any cases of virus infection etc etc and obviously we want to know how our individual loved ones are getting on.
Are other Care Homes trying to maintain contact with relatives/friends of residents during this difficult time? What measures have they introduced that tdemonstrates that Care Home management have empathy with the position of relatives and friends?
 

Cat27

Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
11,319
Merseyside
Some homes are better than others & do Skype etc with residents. Could you suggest that to your wife’s home?
 

pevensey

Registered User
Feb 14, 2012
242
South East Coast.
My wife is in residential care, understandably no relatives and friends of any resident are allowed to visit.
This of itself is very frustrating but almost as bad is that the Care Home makes no attempt to contact us
We are left wondering if all is well at the home?, how many staff are.absent ? Are there /or have there been any cases of virus infection etc etc and obviously we want to know how our individual loved ones are getting on.
Are other Care Homes trying to maintain contact with relatives/friends of residents during this difficult time? What measures have they introduced that tdemonstrates that Care Home management have empathy with the position of relatives and friends?
That must be very sad and worrying for you ALFORD. it's traumatic enough knowing they are locked away from us.. Do you get to talk to someone when you ring, or do they let you talk to your loved one when you ring.. My hubby is in long term respite query him staying permanent and when I phone they take the phone to him and let me chat to him, although he's not good on the phone as he can't follow conversation very well. They also send me regular photos and vidio's on phone when he's enjoying himself or sitting in the garden, and I love getting those. You should try asking them about talking to him on the phone. Stay strong and keep well and we all pray this will be over soon
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
61,837
69
Dundee
Welcome to the forum @ALFORD .

I'm sorry to hear that you're not receiving any communications from the home. From reading other members' posts on DTP it seems that some homes are doing their very best where this is concerned. I would ring them and see if you can speak to a manager so that you can ascertain what they're doing or intending to do to support communication.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,238
My mother's home puts regular items on Facebook and the manager has emailed all relatives to say they had a case of corona virus. I'm sure if mum caught it, they'd phoneme directly. At the moment I'm sending in regular cards and deliveries of flowers and chocolates.
Certainly I'm sure I could phone or skype her if I wanted to, but I don't think either of us would get anything out of it.
I agree about phoning the manager and asking directly if you are concerned.
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
492
I also had issues with no communication. My husband is in a county council run home. I was sent a letter on the 25th March from somebody is in charge of all their homes, I was quite disgusted by it’s tone, it was impersonal addressed to Dear Sir/Madam. All the emphasis was on the residents (which again I can understand) and how they were liaising with the CQC. There was mention of getting extra phone lines but couldn’t say when. There was no mention of the effect on the families and how they could helped to cope with not visiting their loved ones.
An upshot of this was I e mailed this person telling them how I thought the letter could have contained more empathy and given a more concrete plan of how we could communicate with the homes and how they would communicate with us.
I received an e mail from someone who this manager had passed my e mail on to, they were somewhat sympathetic and thanking me for my input. On Tuesday this person phoned me and said that the home would ring everyone’s family daily, I said I thought this would take a great deal of time away from the caring role as there are 60 residents. We settled on a weekly call to myself unless there are any issues or changes. My husband is not in position to take phone calls or FaceTime so this is making the best of things.
I received another letter yesterday which was a much more personal letter addressed to me by name and the content was more geared to towards relatives and the information they could expect to receive
. I had the call today and was relieved that there no cases of COVID 19 in the home. They have taken photos and are going to e mail them to me.
I really feel strongly about how the Carers are often forgotten about and that’s why I wrote to this remote manager, this appears to have had the desired effect but there are some very elderly relatives who perhaps are not in a position to chase things up.
My advice would be to contact the home and let them know the need for contact and how they propose to do it, I do realise that they are busy but we are important too as sitting at home worrying is not good for your own health
Take care everyone and stay safe x
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
492
Sounds like you gave them a good stir up Baker17. 👍
Thank you I’ve been up against so much bureaucracy during my husband’s illness I’ve learnt that you have to stand up for yourself as a carer otherwise you’re treated like the invisible man or woman x
 

Jale

Registered User
Jul 9, 2018
444
Someone from Mum's nursing home is phoning relatives (I think the first point of contact) weekly, I have spoken to Mum - although to be honest I didn't really know what to say to her, she told me she had been shopping, getting the dinner ready and then going to sit and watch a film o_O
 

nipper

Registered User
Dec 27, 2012
25
hertfordshire
I can empathise with this situation about very little contact from my wife's care home. I do ring frequently and they tell me that she is fine but trying to get much more information is very difficult. My wife has advance dementia and now is immobile and doesnt speak so many of the options about letters or phone calls would not be so easy. I have managed to see her once by Whatsapp but she was asleep so not much was achieved. I know they are very busy and stretched as I think they have a high number of carers not at work. I do feel that being on the outside I and others have been isolated and not kept fully informed. I have welcomed the letter today sent from the Alzheimers Society to Matt Hancock as care homes and Social services do seem to be at the bottom of the heap.
Obviously I realise that I cannot go to the home but do feel that some general updates of the current situation would be most welcome.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,211
I am sure it varies between care homes. My mother's care home never contacts relatives unless there is something particular to report (e.g. some kind of health update). However they are very happy to chat if you call. I rang on Wednesday and had a long talk with a senior staff member about my mother and how things were in general (everything was fine). So I work on the basis that all is well unless I hear otherwise, and if I want an update I give them a call. The senior staff who answer the phones all know my mother well, she's been there over two years.

I also took in some supplies in for my mother last week and had a 'distanced chat' with the staff member who came to the door. They have set up a Whatsapp group to enable relatives to stay in touch by video call and he gave me the details. It isn't useful for my mother but I am sure it will be for others.
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
1,009
Newcastle
I agree with @Sirena I don't expect my wife's care home to contact me proactively unless there is some concern over her health or welfare. But I can telephone for updates whenever I want to. At the moment my calls are about everyone at the home, residents and staff, not just my wife. After almost a year they have become friends who I worry about. I dropped off an Easter card, an illustrated letter and some chocolate earlier today. I then rang for a chat with the staff - my wife can't use a phone - and was reassured to hear that all is well. My wife is her usual self. Staff have been putting my letters on display only for her to take them down and hide them. It makes me smile to picture what she is doing. In the circumstances I don't expect anything more from the staff.
 

Can't do it alone

New member
Mar 29, 2020
4
My wife is in residential care, understandably no relatives and friends of any resident are allowed to visit.
This of itself is very frustrating but almost as bad is that the Care Home makes no attempt to contact us
We are left wondering if all is well at the home?, how many staff are.absent ? Are there /or have there been any cases of virus infection etc etc and obviously we want to know how our individual loved ones are getting on.
Are other Care Homes trying to maintain contact with relatives/friends of residents during this difficult time? What measures have they introduced that tdemonstrates that Care Home management have empathy with the position of relatives and friends?
A similar position my Husband went from hospital to care setting on 19th March I have never had a phone call regarding how he is!
I phone him and talk to him but he is at the stage where he cannot answer my desperate questions as to how is he? each care worker who hands him the phone promises a call back to update me it hasn’t happened.
I balance this with thoughts, the staff must be run off their feet, there are likely staff self isolating, they probably have no protection for themselves as last on the list for protective wear and probably terrified for their own safety.
That said you need to know how your Wife is, so I would encourage you to phone and ask be sensitive say you understand they are likely short staffed. Are you able to talk to your Wife on the phone, could you ‘face time her’ if you have a mobile with camera facility. If you (like me) struggle to get through could you e-mail the home. If you aren’t able to access a computer could a family member of friend e-mail on your behalf and ask the home to ring you at home.
Could you send your Wife a card by post instructing a staff member to read it to her, telling your Wife you have had little news, your Wife may not be able to take on board your message but it will give you a sense of connection with her ( and whoever reads it may realise your frustration)
You feel very helpless at these times, persevere.