The Joy of Long Awaited Family Reunions In Care Homes

Like me, I am sure you will have all seen the pictures, on television and in the papers, which have illustrated one of the cruellest aspects of the current situation. Some of the most vulnerable people in our society have been forcibly isolated from their families and friends, through no fault of their own. In many cases they have found it difficult to understand why, particularly as they have been fit and well themselves.

Our carers have been fantastic, providing much needed support and dedication and they deserve all the praise and thanks we can give them. It is not unusual to hear of carers living in at care homes, in effect self-isolating from their own families to protect their residents.

When I speak with homes, I am seeing that things are really beginning to change now and we are starting to see a growing number of heart-warming reunions, many being brought about by imaginative solutions created by the carers who have already done such amazing work.

Emotional reunions are taking place, including grandparents seeing grandchildren for the first time in three months, new grandchildren they are meeting for the first time, husbands, wives, children and lifelong friends. It is hard to imagine how much this must mean to so many people.

To ensure the maximum protection when face to face visits are taking place, it’s vital that social distancing is maintained and it is great to see what can and is being done, to restore as much normality as possible.

The basic precautions include:

  • Pre-booked visits
  • No visits from people displaying symptoms
  • No visits from people self-isolating
  • Checks upon arrival
  • Hand sanitiser being provided
  • PPE where appropriate
  • Social distancing
  • Limit on the number of visitors
  • Time limit on visits
  • Limit on the number of households being able to visit

Dedicated locations are being created, either inside or outside the home, so that everyone gets the maximum benefit from the visit. These can be a specific room in the home, a gazebo, or, if the weather is good, a socially distanced table in the garden. Many homes are either creating, or buying ‘Visit Pods’, which are outside, provide good social distancing and protect you from the elements.

Previously, most care homes were happy that you just dropped in unannounced, so that you could see the home in its normal state, but all that has changed. Visiting arrangements are now a very important factor if you are looking for a care home, so you need to check that you are comfortable with these as a priority. If your loved one is already in a care home, the home will provide you with all the details you need about visiting.

We are always happy to chat about this, or any other aspect of your search for care, so feel free to call us on 0345 853 0300. Alternatively, drop us an email to [email protected] and we will give you a call.

By |2020-07-03T17:37:58+00:00July 3rd, 2020|News|

About the Author:

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Simon has been involved with care homes for over 30 years, providing advice to care home operators, both small and large. In this time, he has seen the sector grow from a cottage industry, with mostly small independent homes, into the sophisticated services we see today. He is passionate about the sector and the quality of both the care and its environment.