Lock Down at Care Home

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
780
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So sorry to hear that window visits are not working for you @Baker17 to see your husband. It must be so frustrating among other emotions
Thanks for your reply, he does say hello but then says come in come in. He then just wanders away, at least he still recognises me which is a plus point. So the visit lasts about a minute. I hope your visit goes well x
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
597
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My sister and I visited mum today for the first time, we were sweltering in a gazebo with masks on well away from Mum. It was quite difficult, we saw mums aggression towards the staff as they were trying to persuade her to walk towards the gazebo. Mum was quite cross when she first saw us, obviously not understanding what was going on but as she heard our voices she settled down .

I was shocked though at how she looked, how much weight she has lost since the end of March, the bruising type marks on her arms and her frailty when standing up. But the home have weighed her twice and she only lost half a pound so most of the changes must have occurred during her five weeks in hospital. Conversation flow was difficult, again much worse than before but she did not demand to go home and was quite keen to go indoors at the end of her visit when I told her that she was being taken indoors to a cafe for a cream cake!

So, although it was nice to see her, it was also upsetting.
 

Louie16

Registered User
Mar 31, 2020
35
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My sister and I visited mum today for the first time, we were sweltering in a gazebo with masks on well away from Mum. It was quite difficult, we saw mums aggression towards the staff as they were trying to persuade her to walk towards the gazebo. Mum was quite cross when she first saw us, obviously not understanding what was going on but as she heard our voices she settled down .

I was shocked though at how she looked, how much weight she has lost since the end of March, the bruising type marks on her arms and her frailty when standing up. But the home have weighed her twice and she only lost half a pound so most of the changes must have occurred during her five weeks in hospital. Conversation flow was difficult, again much worse than before but she did not demand to go home and was quite keen to go indoors at the end of her visit when I told her that she was being taken indoors to a cafe for a cream cake!

So, although it was nice to see her, it was also upsetting.
Ye
 

Louie16

Registered User
Mar 31, 2020
35
0
Hi yes , mum also has lost weight and looks very down in spirits and very frail. I have just rung care home again, they're still not planning visits yet, the R rate is about 0.6 so not as high as other places, they have large garden with wooden summer house so not sure why they're still not planning, no Covid positives. My concern is they're going to keep this going just in case 2nd out break. it's so difficult for everyone, residents and family.
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
780
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I have just sent off an e mail to our County Council about the restarting of visits as my husband is in a home run by them. The current situation of seeing him through a window is not working for us as today when I went at 1.30pm he was in bed and they couldn’t rouse him and even when he’s up and about the visit lasts about a minute because he doesn’t understand why I can’t go in. I did see today that Scotland are starting visits if the home is covid free, they will be once weekly and one key family member.
 

Platinum

Registered User
Nov 7, 2017
75
0
South east
Hi yes , mum also has lost weight and looks very down in spirits and very frail. I have just rung care home again, they're still not planning visits yet, the R rate is about 0.6 so not as high as other places, they have large garden with wooden summer house so not sure why they're still not planning, no Covid positives. My concern is they're going to keep this going just in case 2nd out break. it's so difficult for everyone, residents and family.
I speak to my OH, on the phone, every day in his care home and have been visiting once a week under Covid rules . Prior to lockdown I visited every day, did washing, sorted clothes and replaced as necessary, checked his catheter and politely voiced any concerns to nursing staff. These Covid visits are awful and I come away feeling very worried and depressed. He just doesn’t understand why there can be no physical contact. Dementia conversation is very hard under these conditions as carer/carers are present. At best the visits cause him anxiety. There have been issues about worsening behaviour and more medication. I understand end of life visits must be allowed. Deterioration in mental health should also be a consideration for such visits. Care Homes were completely ignored early on and suffered greatly as a result. Currently, there is an inconsistency in allowing, carers, new residents and end of life normal access to the home whilst the rest of us peer through windows. My OH is over 80 and I live in dread that he will drop dead and all I will remember is the anguish of these ghastly visits. Having said all this I still feel compelled to go. I doubt care home visits will be relaxed any time soon. Deterioration in mental health is a big issue.
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
780
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I speak to my OH, on the phone, every day in his care home and have been visiting once a week under Covid rules . Prior to lockdown I visited every day, did washing, sorted clothes and replaced as necessary, checked his catheter and politely voiced any concerns to nursing staff. These Covid visits are awful and I come away feeling very worried and depressed. He just doesn’t understand why there can be no physical contact. Dementia conversation is very hard under these conditions as carer/carers are present. At best the visits cause him anxiety. There have been issues about worsening behaviour and more medication. I understand end of life visits must be allowed. Deterioration in mental health should also be a consideration for such visits. Care Homes were completely ignored early on and suffered greatly as a result. Currently, there is an inconsistency in allowing, carers, new residents and end of life normal access to the home whilst the rest of us peer through windows. My OH is over 80 and I live in dread that he will drop dead and all I will remember is the anguish of these ghastly visits. Having said all this I still feel compelled to go. I doubt care home visits will be relaxed any time soon. Deterioration in mental health is a big issue.
I used to go three times a week to see my husband and like you sorted and checked clothes and did some personal care. Unfortunately contacting my husband by phone is not possible due to him not understanding what a phone is. I feel that the care visiting issue is still being ignored. Again like you there is worsening of behaviour and medication is being considered, the CHESS have told me if this has to happen I will lose the husband I know and that thought terrifies me. His SW has become involved again and she has spoken to the manager and voiced her concerns about the physiological effects and the need to balance the physical risks against the physiological ones as the time in lockdown goes on. The manager of the home has been noticeable by her silence so since it is a County Council home I have managed to make contact with her manager. I emailed this person voicing not only my concerns but the Involvement of the CHESS team and social worker due to these new issues, during the night on Tuesday when I couldn’t sleep for worrying. I got a reply at 10.45pm last night from her and she is phoning me this morning, just praying that some headway can be made. Take care and fingers crossed for the future x
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
597
0
I am in two minds about care home visits. I desperately want to see mum as she has not been on a care home for very long and I did not get the opportunity to visit the home first. But I know how hard the care home have worked to keep their residents safe from the virus, they have only had a couple of mild cases early on and no deaths.

So I don't think I want lots of visitors who might pass on the virus as at the moment mum is safe. But she is unsettled and I'd like to visit regularly her to reassure her and get to know the staff and the routines. There is no ideal answer at the moment.

I have had one visit under their covid rules - outside in a gazebo, wearing a mask, two metres apart etc etc. But there are no more visits at the moment as the winds destroyed the gazebo!
 

Amelie5a

Registered User
Nov 5, 2014
122
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Scotland
. My concern is they're going to keep this going just in case 2nd out break. it's so difficult for everyone, residents and family.

This is very much my concern too.

My Dad had only been in care for a couple of months before lockdown happened. He wasn't settling very well as it was... but his behaviour deteriorated further and to cut a very long story short, I was told to move him. He's currently in a dementia assessment unit and sounds to be doing better (though i still can't get to see him).

But, because of this, I've been phoning a number of care homes here in Scotland to try and access appropriate, good care going forward.

In conversation with several managers it's really dawned on me that visiting/life in care homes is not going to be anything like normal until there's an effective vaccine. As one said 'care homes have been badly burned by the epidemic and no-one wants a repeat'. My fear is that visiting is going to remain very limited, no 'trips out', no hugging etc for months yet.

All I wanted when Dad moved in to care was that he would have caring people around him, hopefully a bit of contentment, and I'd get to do daughter things with him again. Instead, he's surrounded by people in masks, he's lost the two people he remembered, and it sounds like he's going to live out the rest of his life in 'prison-like' conditions. (And, by the way, he's paying for the privilege)

Like some of the posts above I don't think enough consideration is being given to the psychological health of care home residents. Care home management and politicians are terrified by a repeat of such high numbers of care home deaths. I completely get that - but surely not at the cost of the emotional wellbeing of those who currently residents.
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
780
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I’ve just received a letter from the County Council which was sent out before I e mailed them but has crossed in the post.
They are outside visits with social distancing so I’m concerned my husband will become distressed if he can’t give me a cuddle and also he’s always cold due to blood thinners. The person I e mailed has just phoned me and said that she knew what my concerns were and was I happy to try visiting this way, of course I said I am, it’s a step forward. She also said the Carer who is present will evaluate the visit and point out if it doesn’t work in my case and report back to her and they will relocate at how I can visit.
@Lynmax just hope the gazebo doesn’t blow away, I did tell her what had happened so she’s noted it as possible problem.
I’ve had two of my three wishes granted this week, the other is I’m getting my hair cut on Monday so all in all it’s been the best week for ages
Take care everyone x
 

Susan11

Registered User
Nov 18, 2018
2,600
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This is very much my concern too.

My Dad had only been in care for a couple of months before lockdown happened. He wasn't settling very well as it was... but his behaviour deteriorated further and to cut a very long story short, I was told to move him. He's currently in a dementia assessment unit and sounds to be doing better (though i still can't get to see him).

But, because of this, I've been phoning a number of care homes here in Scotland to try and access appropriate, good care going forward.

In conversation with several managers it's really dawned on me that visiting/life in care homes is not going to be anything like normal until there's an effective vaccine. As one said 'care homes have been badly burned by the epidemic and no-one wants a repeat'. My fear is that visiting is going to remain very limited, no 'trips out', no hugging etc for months yet.

All I wanted when Dad moved in to care was that he would have caring people around him, hopefully a bit of contentment, and I'd get to do daughter things with him again. Instead, he's surrounded by people in masks, he's lost the two people he remembered, and it sounds like he's going to live out the rest of his life in 'prison-like' conditions. (And, by the way, he's paying for the privilege)

Like some of the posts above I don't think enough consideration is being given to the psychological health of care home residents. Care home management and politicians are terrified by a repeat of such high numbers of care home deaths. I completely get that - but surely not at the cost of the emotional wellbeing of those who currently residents.
I think you're on difficult territory here. Care homes can't win. If they're cautious as they should be with our relatives lives they get criticised as above but if they let in visitors and also the virus just think of the criticism they would receive.
 

Amelie5a

Registered User
Nov 5, 2014
122
0
Scotland
I think you're on difficult territory here. Care homes can't win. If they're cautious as they should be with our relatives lives they get criticised as above but if they let in visitors and also the virus just think of the criticism they would receive.
I agree - it's incredibly difficult territory. Care homes are in a no-win situation but my heart breaks at what it means for people with dementia who are in care.
 

Platinum

Registered User
Nov 7, 2017
75
0
South east
I am in two minds about care home visits. I desperately want to see mum as she has not been on a care home for very long and I did not get the opportunity to visit the home first. But I know how hard the care home have worked to keep their residents safe from the virus, they have only had a couple of mild cases early on and no deaths.

So I don't think I want lots of visitors who might pass on the virus as at the moment mum is safe. But she is unsettled and I'd like to visit regularly her to reassure her and get to know the staff and the routines. There is no ideal answer at the moment.

I have had one visit under their covid rules - outside in a gazebo, wearing a mask, two metres apart etc etc. But there are no more visits at the moment as the winds destroyed the gazebo!
I was certainly not advocating lots of visitors being allowed into care homes. We know they were under the radar initially as far as Government was concerned and discharging patients from hospital without testing to care homes is inconceivable but it happened. Some care homes have managed better than others. Carers and staff do not and cannot live in so there is a risk. I have no idea of the frequency of testing of staff and residents but some appear to be checked weekly. I live alone and wear a mask every time I go out as I am extremely aware and frightened of this virus. We only have to see spikes in infection rates to be concerned. It is about managing the risk. If a care home is covid free and a resident is clearly exhibiting a deterioration, consideration could be given to a visit under the same umbrella as end of life. It is not one size fits all. Who decides is of course another matter.
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
780
0
The care home my husband is in set up outside visits and I booked an appointment for today. I was told to phone beforehand to verify I had no symptoms of covid, I mentioned the gazebo they had purchased and was told it couldn’t be used because of the grass, what is that all about.
Anyway I turned up for the visit and was met by a visitor coordinator who was from somewhere else and doesn’t know me and my husband from Adam. She said she’d set the table a chairs out, I explained that my husband probably wouldn’t sit down as he walks constantly. I was wearing full ppe and a member of staff brought him out of the patio doors, I was saying hello ***** repeating it again and again and he just kept walking away because I had a mask on, she couldn’t get him to turn round and he was becoming angry with her. Another member of staff said I’d better get a supervisor and they managed to get him back in by another entrance.
To cut a long story short I had a chat with the supervisor and she said this type of visit works for frail elderly or dementia/ Alzheimer’s residents who are not mobile and they don’t have any plan how to facilitate a visit in my circumstances. I have e mailed the senior manager at the council as it’s a council run home as she asked me for feed back on the visit.
Sorry for the long post but it was so upsetting.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
2,069
0
I'm sorry that didn't go well @Baker17 , but it's making me think I'm wise to hold off trying to visit my mum. She too is mobile and I can well see her wandering off if she isn't sure who I am. Add in me not being able to hear her or her to see me, and the whole thing could well be a disaster.
I hope they work out a way you can get to see your husband properly soon.
 

Susan11

Registered User
Nov 18, 2018
2,600
0
Mum's CH is not allowing any visitors until the end of July and then you have to have a negative test result. I'm not sure how you get a test done if you don't have any symptoms . All the websites say tests are for people with symptoms. I guess I could pretend I have symptoms.
Susan
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
780
0
Mum's CH is not allowing any visitors until the end of July and then you have to have a negative test result. I'm not sure how you get a test done if you don't have any symptoms . All the websites say tests are for people with symptoms. I guess I could pretend I have symptoms.
Susan
@Susan11 sounds like a cunning plan, I won’t split on you😂
 

Joyboy

New member
Apr 29, 2020
7
0
I live in Scotland and have been to visit my husband this afternoon under the new rules for visiting. I am heartbroken and I was very upset seeing him looking so frail and bent over in his wheelchair. He didn't seem to recognise me even though I have been skyping him during the lockdown, but must admit that this has not been very successful. My husband has been in the home since last November and seemed to have settled in well. Prior to this he was in hospital for 10 weeks as he had fallen in the day centre and broke both his hips. After the first operation he was seriously ill and suffered from delirium. In fact at one stage we thought we were going to lose him. Before being admitted to hospital he could walk unaided, wasn't incontinent, and although he had Alzheimer's and was challenging at least he was 'whole' and we would cuddle and kiss. We have been married for 54 years and he has always been my rock and the love of my life. I suffered a stroke 18 months ago and my left hand doesn't work properly, so some things are difficult for me without help. However I can drive my car which is a godsend. My husband didn't cope very well when I was in hospital and his Alzheimer's definitely deteriorated at this stage. Like others on this forum I feel that people with dementia have been let down badly during the lockdown. More aggression and medication seem to be common themes and this is all probably due to the lack of visitors and them not understanding why they are being abandoned. I copied 'intheloop's' verses on this forum entitled 'My heart is breaking for you' as I felt it encapsulated everything we are all probably feeling at this time. When I came back home this afternoon I phoned my son, who lives near London, to let him know how distressed I was seeing his Dad like that. My son is very supportive and phones me every morning to make sure that I am ok. We also zoom with his twin brother who lives in Australia and that cheers me up. Talking with the manager before I left the home she said that my husband has definitely deteriorated and is probably in the last stages of dementia. How do we carry on when life is so cruel. I like to think that I am a very positive person but I feel so helpless, what can I do to help the love of my life when he doesn't seem to recognise me anymore and seeing him so frail is heartbreaking. Oh to be able to hold his hand, give him a cuddle and a kiss again.