East Yorkshire care home company, Yorkare Homes, has created safe visiting rooms to allow residents to see their loved ones again during the coronavirus outbreak.
Each of the group’s five care homes, three of which are rated ‘Outstanding’, are to have a dedicated visiting room with an airtight Perspex divide, intercom system and external door.
Jonathan Garton, Operations Director, said: “In order to help maintain our residents’ well-being we have created visiting rooms within our homes, which are completely safe for our staff and residents and also for visiting loved ones too. Our staff have been amazing at keeping our residents spirits high throughout this period but our residents are missing visits from their family over the last 11 weeks, and hopefully we have come up with the solution. A trial day was completed at Westfield Park in Goole and the visits were a huge success and gave the residents a big boost.”
Extra safety precautions include a full safety guide for visitors, a time table with gaps between slots to maintain social distancing, thorough cleaning schedules completed in between each visit and alcohol gel stations.
Tom Theaker was one of the first residents to trial the new room and he admitted to getting a bit tearful when he first saw his daughter Carol.
“It’s absolutely smashing, very clever work!” Tom said. Carol added: “This is a brilliant idea, it has really made my day being able to see my dad again, well done to Yorkare Homes you’re doing a fantastic job”.
After sharing the idea on LinkedIn, Jonathan said he had been approached by numerous other care companies who feel this could be the solution for safe care homes visits.
Yorkare has stayed a step ahead of government guidance during the pandemic, closing its homes to non-essential visits on March 15, more than a week before the government’s recommendation on March 23. The care group also instructed its staff to wear sessional masks on April 8 ahead of government guidance on April 17.
Yorkare has also taken a number of measures to support staff, including: a bonus in April and May; care packages to those having to self-isolate; access to counselling; and weekly director updates to staff and families.