Care home visiting

My Mum has Alzheimers and is in a care home. Like everybody else we have not been allowed to visit since lockdown. It is heartbreaking because although the staff are marvellous and arrange Facetime for us, she cries her eyes out pretty much every time.

Since it was announced that two people from different households can meet in an open space (social distancing) I have just emailed the home to ask whether they could arrange for Mum and I to meet in the sunshine outside for a short while. They have a nice sheltered garden and I am sure it would perk her up. fingers crossed!

Hope they say yes, Penny, either now or after the 12 week period is up.


Thanks Melly. Waiting for them to email back.

Just had a lengthy phonecall from the Manager who discussed this on a video conference with their Head Office.

They say “No”. I am really disappointed as I cannot see how if a member of staff wheeled my Mum outside into the sunshine and I sat at the appropriate distance from her that could possibly be unsafe. The Manager agrees with me but said they have to do what Head Office say. If it changes she will let me know.

I can completely understand that people should not be allowed to go inside the building but out in the fresh air, what’s the problem?

The test kits arrived at the home this morning and all staff and residents are getting tested tomorrow.

I think that is excessive Penny. Does it not amount to a Deprivation of Liberty? Maybe ask Social Services? You may be the first to ask, but certainly won’t be the last.

Penny,that was a lovely idea.Such a shame it couldn’t happen.

I saw something on the news with this home that has some kind of glass building where people can speak to their relatives.Not quite the same as talking to them properly but at least they can see you upclose.

My aunt’s care home has recently started visits in a garden room through glass with a top window open. They work quite well even though she has limited vision and hearing. I hope your Mum’s care home can come up with something like that.

It is a similar story in the care home where my Mum is. Relatives have asked about garden visits; the manager has checked with head office but they have said “No.”

Understandably, head office is worried about the many risks and does not want to be seen as sanctioning something that later could result in infection being brought in. It also wants to keep within Government guidelines, unclear as some of them are. There is something about not making journeys to visit other relatives. Visiting care homes falls within this category.

Residents, often suffering from various forms of dementia, do need the stimulation of social contact, even if that involves some measure of social distancing. The open air is less risky than indoors. We live in hope that the next round of relaxation of the restrictions, hopefully in early June, will make garden visits possible.

I haven’t seen my husband for ten weeks now. At the start I was getting video calls but this has stopped because it unsettled him. He cannot understand what is going on. He constantly asks when I am going to visit but cannot retain whatever he is told.

He is deteriorating and I should be with him. There seems no plan for reopening homes, and to be honest it’s hard to see how this can be done safely until there is a vaccine. I am just heartbroken thinking of him stuck in there on his own, maybe thinking no-one cares about him any more.

I’m so saddened reading your post. Its worse for you than your husband.
My late husband’s nursing home was closed to visitors at one point, due to novovirus. I was in despair. Eventually, when I was allowed back, he had no idea I had been away for so long, thankfully. Had no idea of time or days in reality.
Your husband, possibly asks were you are, in ’ normal’ times, even if you have not long visited.
Not much comfort to you, I know.
Hope you are managing to rest,and take care of yourself.
My heart goes out to you

You are right that their sense of time is different from ours. This lockdown seems endless to me but maybe he does not experience it in the same way. It’s just so overwhelmingly sad that we are losing so much time together, in what may well be the last months of his life. There are many others in the same boat, and probably many worse off than us in some ways. I try to stay positive but the uncertainty is so difficult to live with. Thank you for your thoughts.

If two people from separate households can now meet up in an open space observing social distancing then I would have thought one family member and one resident could meet up outdoors at care homes.

By the way, Mum’s care home was all tested this week and every single staff member and resident got negative results which is great.

I agree, Penny. My husband’s home won’t allow it either. Surely they have to find some way to facilitate visits soon. My husband is mobile but extremely confused, so social distance would be difficult even if we were allowed a garden visit. He is likely to approach me or any other visitors. We need some sort of physical screen or barrier. How long are we all expected to go on without opportunities for visiting? It’s sad and frustrating.

Glad your mum’s home is all clear of covid Penny. My husband’s begin testing next week, apparently.

Thanks Pinkie and I’m sorry you can’t see your husband either.

When I talk to my Mum on the phone or we do Facetime I can hear that her speech and memory are worsening quickly and that makes me sad. The staff are really good and go in and chat to her and sometimes take her outside for a coffee but I used to go in every other day and we would chat for 1-2 hours and she is clearly missing that.

Just had a chat to the Manager of Mum’s care home and she says she cannot see visiting being allowed for a couple of weeks yet. they have had no coronavirus cases in residents or staff but she says they have to take instructions from Head Office and they in turn take instructions from the Government.

I am so sad because they say Mum has deteriorated.

Then I see on the news that 15,000 idiots have crammed together in London for the Black Lives Matter demo. What the hell do they think they are doing? They will undo all the good we have done by obeying the rules. I am so angry. By all means take their protests and demonstrations to social media but they are being totally selfish and unfair and they should not be doing this.

Have you tried talking to their “Head Office” about this?

The new rules/guidance that began on Monday of this week do now allow garden visits to visit friends so long as we observe the standard 2m social distancing.

It seems to be completely at odds with that if you and your Mum are not allowed the same latitude.


That is sad.

I imagine the staff there are going shopping etc and that’s indoors.

I know some homes have the staff living at the home at the moment but that would be a minority.

Most will be in the community, and meeting up with relatives outdoors.

If you speak to them in a couple of weeks I would suggest you could say you would wear a face mask and face shield. You can order them on amazon.

Still no news. It absolutely sickens me that people cannot visit loved ones in care homes but 15,000+ were able to crowd into London and protest this weekend and couldn’t give a monkeys about social distancing. That was totally wrong and Sadiq Khan should carry the can for this as he could have banned it but chose not to. He is spineless.

It’s such a shame that you can’t visit.

Looking at the news, you would think it was all over.

Perhaps later on the care home will relax it’s restrictions. I do hope so.

Unfortunately Care Homes don’t fall under the new rules announced.
Many of us are in the same boat with elderly parents getting anxious and going downhill.
Until the so-called ministers stop spreading untrue information about testing in care homes and the availability of testing material (let alone adequate availablity of PPE) its likely to take some time.

Where my Mum is, they have been asking for testing kits since end of March and so far they have received 10 when they actually need 70.

Just like the school that received 1 Laptop for 1000 pupils…totally inadequate.

I have stopped watching the ‘Hancock’s Half Hour’ on TV as its almost the same drivel every day.

On the other side, dad is at home gradually losing his eyesight whilst still waiting for a Cataract operation, having to self isolate and missing his visits to Mum terribly. Luckily they can phone and use facetime (Audio) on a daily basis.

Now they annonce that 10 Million people will be waiting for treatment by December?

The Conservatives will certainly be held to account for this shambles.