CORONAVIRUS: Care home visitor restrictions called into question   


Care home providers have come under criticism for blanket restrictions placed on visits by families and friends in a bid to protect residents from the coronavirus.

Operators up and down the country have announced restrictions on visits to residents after the number of people infected with the virus rose sharply last week.

Reacting to the moves, Judy Downey, the chair of the Relatives and Residents Association, told The Guardian: “We have tin-pot dictators telling people that they can’t visit their parents and partners based on something they have half-heard.

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“Residents can get very distressed if their relatives stop visiting.  If you had the choice, at the end of your life, between not seeing your children or dying more quickly, which would you choose? I’d choose the latter.

“Just as importantly: it’s not legal to ban visits from friends and family. Residents have a right to family and private life, the right to choose and the right to be visited.”

Bupa and luxury care home operator Dormy Care Communities are among the latest to announce visitor restrictions. Bupa said it was continuing to welcome visitors provided they were not exhibiting symptoms of the virus.

Dormy Care said that only “essential visits” were being permitted and that loved ones should be met within their own room and not in communal spaces.

In its latest guidance to care home operators, which was published on Friday, the government advised that no-one should be allowed to visit “who has suspected COVID-19 or is generally unwell”, adding hand hygiene should be emphasised.

The government said care home providers “should also consider the wellbeing of residents, and the positive impact of seeing friends and family”.

Nadra Ahmed OBE, chair of the National Care Association, said: “Providers are taking these steps to protect the residents and staff. They are taking steps to increase communication options via telephones etc. The advice remains for relatives who do visit to ensure that they are free of the virus and to comply with precautionary processes.

“Care providers are working hard to mitigate the risks to the vulnerable people they care for and their workforce, but know that they cannot completely eradicate the risk as there will be circumstances under which families and friends will be enabled to visit.”

Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England, added: “Some care providers have introduced this as a precaution but we need very clear guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England as to what the position is. We have been asking for this repeatedly.”



Tags : Best practiceCoronavirusHealth and Safety

The author Lee Peart


  1. We have put our home in lockdown to protect the people we support, we are fully aware that we can only do so much to protect our residents and keep the safe, As staff will still be coming and going we have added many protective measures to do the best we keep our people safe.
    I am appauled that Judy Downey has called us “Tin Pot Dictators” with “half baked” knowledge. Does she not think that we are recieving information on best practice from every department. Does she think we are not listening to W.H.O. advice and taking it seriously.
    Added to these insults she has written ““Residents can get very distressed if their relatives stop visiting. If you had the choice, at the end of your life, between not seeing your children or dying more quickly, which would you choose? I’d choose the latter.”. Does she not believe that we probally all agree with that sentiment, but whilst ‘That’ person is making that decision and choosing to have family in, how do we protect the other individuals who havent made that decision.
    We are not idiots, you trust us to look after your families, why do you not trust us to find the knowledge and act on the knowledge we need to keep them safe.

        1. Paddy Turner: Your response to the article is defensive and one-sided. A ‘tin-pot dictator’ is exactly the type of character my family have been dealing with, who refuse to allow me to see my distressed and elderly mother. I, and every other visitor are not allowed to cross the threshold of her care home and she has been held in isolation despite a negative c19 test. Trust? Yes we have to put our whole trust in the carers to do the right thing by our loved ones as we have no way of observing that they are not. The only way i found out my mother was being neglected when maggots were found in an open wound on her leg and paramedics had to be called. It was in the hospital that mum was able to tell us of the drinks out of reach and the resentful attitude she endured. All this is now part of a safeguarding investigation and I firmly believe that the covid 19 guidelines are in violation of the CQC principles of safeguarding.
          Trust is important. But what does a family do when that trust is violated, enabling the ‘tin-pot dictators’ within your profession to abuse and neglect those in their care? I suspect that the safeguarding alerts within the care home community will rise exponentially as a direct result of withholding visiting rights.

          1. I have no idea if i will see my mum and dad at all. I suffer from anxiety and the current lockdown in there care home has made it harder for me to manage it. My dad loves getting visitors and is just existing with no quality of life.

            I feel so sad that there lives have ended up like this.

            Its tragic it would be a blessing for us if they were laid to rest whatever takes them.

            Covid or no covid .

            Many care homes owned by private profit making organisations . They say its about care but more about money !

            What has our country become.

            There kocked in i can only talk to them through a window.

            What kind of existence is it.

          2. Hello Claire,
            This is.a truly awful way to find out about neglect of your mother. I couldn’t agree more about safeguarding issues and I am sure these are on the rise as blocking relatives blocks a level of protection and care. The CQC also abandoned their post and GPs visit less often so who is there to protect the residents. I have worked as a nurse so observe things with a nurses eye and can point these out to staff. One example was ‘sling size’ which was too large for my mother and therefore ‘unsafe’. I got hold of the nurse in charge to point this out but unfortunately an incident, minor fortunately, had already occurred and hour before my call which the nurse was unaware of at the time; she phoned me back to let me know.

            Regarding managers, my mother’s home has had several managers all good until the latest manager whose approach is diametrically opposed to the manager before. Many staff left and a whole raft of ‘can’t dos’ were implemented. My mother had been in this home over two years but these changes contributed to my decision to have her back home for her last days which would be a major amount of work as she can’t do anything for herself . I was just about to get the necessary equipment in and the manager knew about my decision to move her out. I could see no problem about her moving out as there would be no risk of infection. However an email came around stating the care home was closed and no one was allowed to move out! Being unable to take her out I finally got the chance to see her again after “booking an appointment”. but the day before, it was cancelled! This ‘home’ has a garden that can be accessed without setting foot in the building and it was sunny; there was no reason why it should be cancelled. It is appalling that our loved ones have to endure such unkindness. It is hard enough for them in care homes but to ban their only advocates, as relatives often are, is unforgivable.

    1. I tested positive for Covid-19 4 weeks ago and have now tested negative. I’m immune. Why can’t I visit my father in his care home. He is approaching final days and my mother (positive now negarive) really wants to see him. He had a stroke, was released home after 9 days and gave us all Covid-19 that he picked up during his stay. He was home for 9 days and then suffered a bleed and after 3 weeks is being put into a care home. We can not catch it, can’t transmit it yet are being deprived of our rights to visit and no one seems to understand this breaches our human rights. Do I need to go legal?

      1. Hi Alan,
        We would advise you discussing this with the care home in the first instance as we know they are now looking at ways to enable care home visits.

    2. My partner went in with early onset dementia for respite early march and is still there, I’ve been told that I cannot visit nor get her home, I’ve powe of attorney over her what are my rights please

        1. Can I legally be stopped from visiting my grandfather who has been very poorly (98) with an ongoing urine infection and has has some bad reactions to the antibiotics of delusions and is unusually sleepy. I feel this warrants an end of life visit and is making the family I’ll with the worry. The care home just keeps telling us he is fine but when he asked about the care of his dogs who have been gone 40 years and he does not have dementia then he is not fine – please can you direct me x

          1. Hi my farther also has dementia and is in a care home and often gets urine or chest infections that lead to delirium which causes the paranoia, delusions and distress. We have leased closely with his GP to go in and assess reasons for this and prescribe antibiotics that he has responded well to. But at the end of each course of antibiotics he gets further infection starting the cycle of infection and delirium again. They have recently started him on a maintenance antibiotic to try and stop the repeat infections and so far this appears to be working and he is more settled no recent infection or delirium . There is recent research to say infection and inflammation can make dementia symptoms worse

    3. Care homes are not making these decisions lightly or independently. We would love to allow more visits but are bound by the laws and guidelines introduced by government and local councils. When we started garden visits in the home i work in the local council told us to stop as these were not allowed without permission, once we got permission the visits were to be one designated family member only. This article states care homes are “tin pot dictators” which clearly is not the case, a little research is needed before making such statements. We work to try to improve our residents lives and are well aware of the impact the current situation has on their mental health and wellbeing. I’m disgusted that this is what is being told to the public,. Blame the fare homes again!

    4. I have seen my mum only three times since April two metres apart…
      I went to the care home Aden view Huddersfield this morning and was told off for looking through
      The lounge window to see my mum .
      Who the hell do they think they are ??????
      The home is on perseverance street wonder why

  2. Grossly unfair & irresponsible comments from Judy Downey, Providers have a duty of care towards their residents as well as their staff. The world is facing a crisis that is having a life & death impact on the elderly and vulnerable. Whilst Judy may advocate the potential spread of a virus, our visitors are appreciative of the decision we took to suspend all but non essential visiting.

    1. RAJ SEHGAL. What nonsense to say that ‘Judy may advocate the potential spread of a virus. She is making the essential point that to some residents banning visits from their loved ones can it’s self have a life or death impact on the care home resident..

      I hope that you are taking into consideration the human rights of your residents and ensuring that the necessary safeguardings are in place.

      1. I have a mother in an assisted living complex with her own flat and i do her shopping and get her medication for her and I had a letter stating that I have to leave all her shopping and meds at the door I’m sorry but This is appalling do they think I take my mother safety lightly. I go in once every three weeks with her shopping and meds and I am masked and gloved and just put her shopping away and gone within 10 mins. My mother has rights if this was a care home then I would agree with the steps, but it isn’t.

  3. Judy Downey is clearly both naive and misinformed. Her language is child like and frankly dangerous – not to mention offensive to all responsible operators. If this is your approach you should consider your position as Chair of Residents and Relatives Assoc.

  4. Feels much like the selfish anti vaxer view. Visit granny and infect other residents and staff, or use Skype etc for a few months and visit later when your relative and others are still alive. Otherwise I suggest Judy take her relative out of the home and care for them herself and then she might appreciate the valuable job that staff do and the need to think of the community and not just a single situation

    Oh dear. Unfortunately for me, Care Home Professional lifted part of a discussion with a Guardian journalist and implied that my main focus had been to criticise care providers. I was, in fact, referring to statements made last week by some politicians and nurses, who made unhelpfully sweeping statements about all visits to older people being subject to blanket bans. This was before this week’s advice and the escalation involved.
    In particular, I was perturbed by the precipitate actions of some regional and community care nurses who were preventing relatives from visiting their dying parents in their own homes. The Guardian article was accompanied by a description of excellent and thoughtful care home practice, which illustrated and reflected our discussion well. I was stressing the need for there to be nuanced and, sometimes, complex decisions in this frightening new climate, which we know are happening in many excellent settings. As you know, these need to be based on careful risk assessments and the best interests of vulnerable people in the round. They must also involve human rights considerations as well as the physical and emotional wellbeing of all involved. It is also true that some care homes, despite CQC advice “to consider the wellbeing of residents, and the positive impact of seeing friends and family”, have failed to explain or discuss their policies with families and left many residents with fluctuating dementia and others feeling confused and bereft. The R&RA has asked CQC to clarify its guidance so that we can work together with care providers for the best outcome for everyone without confusion or blame.

    1. Well done Trudy Downey I think you are spot on. My loved one would go downhill very quickly indeed without the emotional support of her closest relative and representative. Thank you so much for speaking up for the likes of my mother. I would say to some of your critics here do you not think that relatives are going to act in the best interest of their loved ones and act with utmost responsibility and take all precautions while visiting, they after all have much more at stake than the care homes businesses and managers..


      1. I ve been a healthcare worker for over 35 years , my mother s home stopped me visiting after me visiting each day for over a year, i made sure she had enough fluids and food as she was reluctant to drink etc due to her dementia she would forget , so she needed regular prompting. when lockdown started i pleaded with the home to let me visit still ,even for a short time a few times a week maybe.I was happy to wear my PPE, I wsas only able however to wave at the window and mum was on the first floor!! I was told each time i rang,s (this was every day for 4 weeks) she was eating and drinking well and she was fine . I recieved a phone call on Sat morning mum had had a fall and on the sun been admitted to hospital !! the result!! a fractured pelvis ,bleed on the brain and an infection , oh and quess what, ?doctor told me she was dehydrated when she was admitted to hospital .

        1. Same here
          I thought it was me writing this
          Only difference my parent didn’t go to hospital but died without being allowed end of life visit. Only to find out from a fellow relative that 3 have died from coronavirus brought in by staff tested positive but no one told. It’s hard to come to terms with. My thoughts are with you my dear.

          1. My mom is in a Care Home she as Lewie Body Dementia and we haven’t seen her for nearly 3 months now and unfortunately in that time she as lost some Mental Capacity her house was up for sale in February Moms wishes but now the Sale Contract and The Transfer Deed is through the home won’t allow Mom to sign them so now we won’t have fees to pay for her Care and all bills we have to continue to pay out of moms account we have no power of Attorney any ideas anyone she stands to lose 2K if forms aren’t signed

        2. J Bassford,
          i have the same problem,every thing i tried the same way , as i am in with mum every day for the last 2 years and work as a carer in a hospital ,if you want to talk further contact me,
          as i have lost so much sleep over mum dehydrated which as you know leads to kidney problems and confusion ,
          as it looks now spreads like wild fire in nursing homes covid 19 or any infection .
          locking people in there rooms will for 2 to 3 months with no proper care ,
          as family can not see what is happening,
          lack of staff and for basic care,for food and drinks ,
          this is how nursing homes are caring , last hiqa report not enough staff ,
          but that is the same in most private nursing homes .its about profit,
          well at the moment they have been so let down the older people .
          to end up like this . it was not family gave them covid19 it was nurses and carers going in to nursing homes , ,
          and as i said its breeding ground for infection as government no now ,
          this has to change and now

  6. Wow Judy Downey – just wow! I recommend knowing before commenting. What’s better? You and every other visitor stops coming to a care home for a while to protect their loved ones from a contagion OR every man and his dog continue to come to the home and put everyone at a higher risk of contracting said contagion? Do I need to spell it out for you, this disease kills older persons and is proving to be particularly harmful to over 70’s and those with other underlying health issues. You decide Judy – you seem to be an expert.

  7. I am very worried that care homes,a lot of whom receive poor inspection reports will be operating behind closed doors.A huge problem with them is a lack of staff ,and this problem will increase with staff staying at home.. where problem s occur,it is relatives who inform the Q.C.C.,how will relatives know what is going on. If care homes are so concerned about their residents they should also take into account their mental well-being which can alter their physical health..Also they should just remember that resedents are greatly loved by their relatives and are not selfish,

  8. Oh Lucy what a poor view of care homes you have staff are underpaid and over worked not to mention under appreciated by most do you realise what training care staff have to have ? To do there job not to mention that there are far better paid jobs out there we do not do this for the money we do this because we want to make a difference to someone in there final chapter of life we do not hide behind closed doors and to assume that only visitors can spot or report bad practice is criminal of course we care about the mental welfare of our clients but we also care about there physical welfare to do you not think a decline in physical health would impact mental health will you open the doors of your home to around 100 visitors a day in these dangerous times No I don’t think so so don’t expect our precious and vulnerable clients to do so

    1. Well said! We are grossly underpaid for what we do and what we go through yet we turn up day after 13 hour day to do our job and to look after your relatives, family and friends. I am currently isolating myself at home when not on shift to ensure I stay as fit and healthy as I can and I know other staff doing the same thing so we can continue to do our job and give these residents the best we can. I understand it is hard for people not being allowed to visit but please look at the big picture! Closures and bans have not been done for fun they have been implemented to keep the residents as safe as possible. Less people in and out of the home means less risk.

    2. My mother has just been placed on end of life care in her care home. As a family we have visited nearly every day and assisted in her meal times and she is totally reliable on this to survive.We have been told we cannot visit at this very emotional time and sad time even to the point we cannot look through a window at her. I can supply full ppe equipment at my own cost which will be far superior to what the care home nurses use but my mother has got to die on her own after an 10 year battle against her illness.

    3. I totatally agree with u jojo we are doing our very best in care or nursing homes there are a lot of vulnerable adults in there homes ; end of life patients who we look after day and night ,if we open door to one relative then we may as well let anyone in , not only are these family’s putting there own relative in danger but others to and the staff which is totally unfair as we to have family’s some we are also un able to see , why are you not listening to what the government have said STAY HOME SAVE LIVES please you are making our job harder , and to be fair if police where to stop you and ask where you going and you said to visit relative they would tell you to go home and most prob give you fine , please let us do our jobs and you stay home to stop risk off this spreading more

    4. Reading all your comments is very worrying.
      My Nan has a stroke during the pandemic.
      None of us has been able visit her at all for 5wks!!!!!!!!!
      She has now been moved to a care home as she is never going to recover! She was a healthy 80 year old still able to do most things and a career for my grandad after his hip replacement.
      My grandad is left devastated luckily a relative was able to move in with him.
      They have been together their whole life.
      Now they can’t even see one another!!
      We can’t even see them .
      It’s the most horrifying thing ever.
      What made it even worse we couldn’t even go visit any care homes to see if they are suitable?
      She has just been put in the nearest one available until this is over.
      And now there’s the thought of her catching conornavirus and she may die on her own thinking everyone has just forgotten about her 😢
      We try and call the care home it’s always busy (understandable) or you get put threw and the person who answers they hardly speaks English and no use at all!!

      It’s the most awful thing ever not being able to see her.

      Anyone any advice on this ?

      1. Hi Louise, myself and my family are in exactly the same position as you. My 81 year old father was admitted to hospital 3 weeks ago with a severe water infection, fever etc and he also has dementia. He was very ill, and has, fortunately, been cleared by the hospital as being medically well, but he hasn’t gotten out of bed for 3 weeks as he needs prompting and this hasn’t been done. My mother is 84 and has been married to my dad for 55 years and has given him the best care in these last difficult years due to him being disabled and having dementia. She is still isolating alone at home, and also thinking that my dad will think he has been abandoned by his wife and family, it’s heartbreaking for us all. My dad’s care needs are too great for my mum now and he is being transferred to a care home (also not of our choice) and again we can’t visit him there either. We fully understand why, but it’s emotionally hurting us all as we know dad will be bereft, at least some times when he wonders where is wife is!
        We as a family feel so much for you all, as we are going through a very similar situation. We wish your mum the very best of care, I’m sorry we can’t offer any advice at this time as I don’t think there is any. Just stay positive as we are trying to do and hope that they get the best care and are well looked after. We just hope that when it is safe he remembers us, if an when we are allowed to go and see him. best wishes Julie

        1. My Mum, my best friend, my rock has had dementia for almost 7 years and been in a care home for 2 years now.
          We’ve gone from 3 or 4 visits a week to none since 12 March, apart from occasional peep over garden wall on sunny days.
          At the end of July the home contacted us to say that from 3 August we could start visiting with strict social distancing and guide lines, Then our town was one of the unfortunate who were placed on local lockdown so the plans were scrapped before we got chance.
          My heart is aching for her and it’s getting harder. I’m going to some very dark places.
          I know her health and that of the other residents is paramount in all this but it is torture it really is.
          The carers have been great and I can’t fault them but I can’t get my head round the fact that they don’t live in, they come and go home to their families who are all going about their business yet we can’t even have a socially distanced visit.
          I’ve thought of going for a test, going straight home and staying there until results come through and if negative calling and begging for a visit, even a hug but I doubt that would be allowed.. At this moment in time I feel like I will never get to feel my mums hugs again.
          Apologies for long post and rant but I needed to get it off my chest.
          I’m usually a very strong minded person (business owner) but I can feel the situation is starting to affect my mental health as I am sure is happening to many others.
          How much longer can this go on?

  9. I am in the situation of being locked out of my fathers care home. He does not understand, we did not have any warning so could not explain to him. His care home have provided no information, no communications. I am left not knowing if I will ever see my father again. This crisis is not a few weeks or months, many are predicting it May be years. My father does not have years.

    Given the shocking lack of communication, failure to answer emails, their telephone system being not fit for purpose, my sister and I have decided to care for our father ourselves. Having said this to the care home we are now in a terrible position where they have said we are not allowed to remove him. He has no section or deprivation of liberty order. On the occasions we have managed to speak to him he is asking us to come and get him. Social services are involved. As I am in the middle of this I won’t divulge which care home it is.

    I am absolutely devastated, reduced to terrible anxiety, this is at a time of crisis. The staff are young, many agency workers, they are coming and going to family and working partners. I am older, retired, have no face to face contacts as per current government advice. I would like care homes to consider who is the risk to the residents.

    We need some balance and compassion and Judy is trying to raise these issues. I hope my message will help you to understand what family are going through. Other care homes may have been more sensitive I can only tell you about what is happening to me and my lonely, frightened elderly, frail father who told me “ I know you are very busy”. Hearing him say I am too busy to visit him cut me to pieces. My anger at this care home is beyond my ability to describe.

    1. Dear Lynn,
      I am very sorry for the heartbreaking situation with your father. How scary and worrying particularly when there is no communication from the care home. I wish you the best of luck and strength too. Hope you and your sister can get your father safely home with you.

  10. What about the elderly who go out to Club environments are they not at risk doing this
    As they are mixing with those people who might have the virus or symptoms .
    Unfortunately they make this choice but should they not consider that they should not put themselves in harms way

  11. We must protect those in Care Homes and the workers who look after them but many patients in nursing homes need the constant support that partners and relatives provide. There simply aren’t enough staff to do that on a 1 to 1 basis.
    Quality of care, dignity and well being will be compromised, it often is even under normal conditions!
    Nominated relatives or partners must be allowed access. Precautions can be put in place.

    1. I agree that everyone in care homes need protecting but as you say nominating a family member to be the visiting support would be sensible. I have s brother who has just been moved to a new home as his previous home which he has lived in for five years has closed. This was probably not the best decision of the company at this time. My brother is distressed and missing visits. It has been difficult to get in contact with him. He has a computer which we had been using to Skype him on but this hasn’t been connected so we are not able to do this currently. I was not allowed to settle him in and have not been able to view the home.
      Many Residents mental and emotional health is suffering. Let’s hope that when they review the lockdown measures we can have some sensible clarity regarding visiting.

  12. my father has only been in a care home for 3 days for the manager to send me an email stated i cannot visit anymore because of the virus my father is 92 and end of life with dementia i have been there for my father especially the last 2 years and now only as days or weeks left this has broken my heart and my fathers and probably wonders where we are because his only been in the care home a few days they do not know him and how to treat him, i washed my hands and they took my temperture everytime i went there which was twice a day to feed him The second day he had a severe cut on his elbow and was left untreated i am very worried and scared for my father. I am heartbroken

    1. I have been refused visiting my 89 year old mother in her care home , yet i am a fully trained social care support worker for 35 years,with up to date qualifications including nvq , infection control ,health and safety ,,medication training, etc, etc, ,my mother has dementia ,COPD, and by me not seeing her each day as i have been for many years this i feel will affect her immensely,i am devastated , but i am good enough and permitted to continue to go in the community supporting others , including other care homes and supported living establishments.It. really is a mad world.

  13. My Nan’s care home have said we can’t even wave at her through her window! 2 1/2 weeks on she is getting very upset and confused as to why… The care homes reason; it wouldn’t be fair on the residents upstairs who don’t have a window for relatives to wave through. Any ideas who I should complain too?? She is 101!

  14. James Rycroft, Judy is neither naive or misinformed. Her point is absolutely vital. Perhaps you should educate yourself a bit more before making such ill informed judgments

  15. I am in situation where we were informed by the care home my father is in that rather than have months because of cancer he may only have weeks.I know the home is doing everything they can to help but if we got in to see him he would have to go into isolation for 7 days but yet they are allowing staff to care for him that leave their job and go to the local shop and are coming into contact with god knows who how is that fair to us my father could die before this lockdown is removed so I might not be able to see him again answer me that

  16. I thought I was the only person suffering my son I severely autistic and lives in a care home we have normally 4 days a week contact 2 days he comes to my place and 2 days we visit Patrick at his care home and we only stay in his room
    The care home have said that strictly no visiting from relatives and no home visits I have not ever thought this was the correct decision as my son loves family contact and I can’t explain to him why we have no contact I am heartbroken and my son will be the same but his behavior will go down and I feel the visit outweighs the corona virus risk as we do not mix with anyone at the care home or at my flat

  17. My father was born with asthma in his later years he suffered from COPD and emphysema. His doctor told him if he get the flu or really sick that could be the end. He  have been nearly gone many times, why is he still here I am not sure maybe God. It is a hard life to live and I always hope that someday someone will figure out a cure not until my family found www. totalcureherbsfoundation. com remedies that gradually cure and relief this lung conditions after several weeks of the dosage . I always think it is not taken as seriously as it should be ever since my father use the natural herbal medication from that company his condition and the breathing system and all that has been extremely reversed to normal .

  18. I have taken care of my dad for the past nineteen years in 2005 my mum died and I become his main carer my dad had a stroke in 2015 and also has dementia he is being fed through a feeding peg I was visiting 6days a week and I give him a shave brush his teeth cut his hair and nails I was being allowed into the home every over day for half hour I can get into my dads room in ten seconds from entering the building I dont come in contact with any body else but have now been told I cant see him any more I whent to see him today but could only look through the window my dad doesn’t understand what is going on and me not being allowed in to the building will probably end up killing him what makes me laugh is I have no children living at home my wife is self isolating for three months because she has arthritis my dad has more chance of catching something from the staff who dont seem to be wearing any protective clothing then he has from me.

    1. Hi Robert 🙂 Doesn’t it honestly seem like care home managers are trying to ban relatives from seeing their poorly relative? I worry about the mental health impact this will have on many people. I get your point about dementia sufferers. They will still be expecting visit’s from relatives, friends, life partner, etc, but no matter how much any care worker tries to explain this, the dementia sufferers won’t understand, so it’s going to make the sufferer really upset. They will still suddenly wonder where everyone is who used to visit them. Care workers are not and should never be a replacement in place of family, friends, and life partners. This is unacceptable. I suggest we all write to the CQC about this, and the local government’s. We can do better than this. Just because our poorly relatives are in a binding contract with a care home, does not mean that the care home staff have more rights to our relative.

  19. I as a carer completly understand how upsetting it is for relatives not been able to visit there family member in a care home,but as much as I genuinely sympathise with everyone,I do believe what is done is out of the best interest for them at this time with the corana virus,we are there to look after your familys and to protect them and the carers from it getting into there homes,do you all think it’s easy on us having to know the impact its having on the service user too,it breaks our hearts ,but at the end of the day it’s also not putting them at risk as they are very vulnerable,so please try understand its all about saving lives rather risking losing them ,.

    1. As a Registered Nurse with 40 years experience and a relative with a family member currently in a care home I can see both sides of this arguement. However, you cannot “lump” all Care Homes into the same bracket. I know there are Care Homes out there doing the best they can for their residents at this difficult time, Going above and beyond trying to keep our loved ones safe. However, not all Care Homes are well run. Prior to the Covid 19 Pandemic I was already concerned about the level of care in my relatives care home. We have good reasons as a family for trying to keep him there but was beginning to believe it was not the right place for him, despite those reasons. It was only because we were able to visit regularly and provide care ourselves that we were reasonably satisfied that he was ok whilst we battled with social services to move him to a better home. Whilst I do understand the reasons for excluding visitors at present, how do we know he is ok and safe?

    2. Don’t take what I’m about to say as a negative. It’s just that everyone has to die some time in their lives. No-one lives forever, so it shouldn’t even matter what we die from. Nature will still take it’s course, no matter how much medication you give any care home resident. Science cannot beat nature. Death is natural, as much as giving birth is. Who is to say that some people who have already died from Coronavirus weren’t going to die on those days anyway, regardless of getting Coronavirus? If you understand my meaning 🙂

  20. What is so upsetting about this debate is the way in which it has become so polarised. With both care homes and relatives being demonised for their behaviours and reactions to the situation overall. Resulting in a horrible competition around protection playing out around the people we love. And this part of the wider experience of some very out of context judging that is happening as we go about our daily routines of self isolation, exercise and provision buying. I am a very distressed relative. I am quite happy to say out loud that it is not acceptable for me that I might be unable to be with my mother in the case that she suffers from Covid-19 in her care home. She lost her father in WW2 ; suffered TB as a child resulting in solitary confinement in hospital and has profound issues of abandonment from these traumas along with dementia. Through all of this she has managed to remember her daughters and grandchildren as an act of great determination and lov. It is unbearable to even consider that we won’t be able to be with her. Of course I don;t know how it will play out. The care home is behaving like a very closed system right now , having just announced its first case. Human rights have not been mentioned nor deprivation of liberty. ‘The right to private and family life means that we all have a right to maintain relationships with our loved ones. This includes the right to live with your family and, where this is not possible, the right to regular contact.’ Three Stage Rights test. In the aftermath of all this I fear this will be one of the many tragedies and neglects of this horrible pandemic. Can the care home sector look to ways in which fundamental human rights can be be considered alongside clinical mitigation. I hope this will be the work of the leaders and influencers in the the care sector going forward. It may be too late for my mother and others mentioned in this thread but I would like everyone to know I am not going to give up the right to fight to be with her yet. A hospital in Bath is allowing family members to be with their loved ones at the end.

  21. My mum is in a independent living care home she has slight dementia and is probably wondering why her family cannot visit she doesn’t fully understand what is going on also she was previously in hospital with a stroke before the outbreak and now unable to talk and she can only sit in her chair and stuck in front of her tv the carers are only insured to make her microwave dinners I have been in formed lately that I can cook for her at pass food to carers to take to her she lives in a self contained flat in the block which has communal area for residents however they are in full lock down I have asked if I can move in with her during lockdown as I have been in isolation to make sure I have no symptoms I have advised I can take full care (without any carers needed) of my mother however I am still not allowed to see her or take care of her myself , she wakes up around 6am waits for carers at 9am to eat breakfast and gets dressed she sits in her chair until lunchtime for carers to make her lunch and a cup of tea then she sits in her chair until 6 and waits for her dinner (microwave ready meal for some other residents) she is just excisting this is her end of life no family no friends just sitting in a chair day after day watching tv and waiting she is 88 we can’t understand what she says when we speak to her as she has had a stroke she cannot walk without help as she falls over all she sees is carers with masks ond the government say its to protect the vulnerable personally if my mum had a choice she would take the risk just for a cuddle from her daughter she might as well be in jail.

  22. I agree. I’d rather die soon, than be banned from seeing friends and family and my fiance. These people are the most important people in my life. They always will be. I’m not dismissing the fact that Covid-19 makes you very unwell, but when isolating from people you love, it has a huge impact on the person’s mental health. If I was on my death bed, I would definitely want everyone I love around my bed. I know there is Facebook, Snapchat, etc, but when you are dying, it’s going to feel a bit of a chore just having to gather any kind of energy to type. I’m just lucky that I got to be at my last husband’s bedside, before he passed away from bowel cancer. I lived at the same residential care home as him. I would have been absolutely kicking myself with regret if I hadn’t had the chance to be at Stephen’s bedside. Love conquers all. Love makes the world go round. As nice as it is of the NHS staff to be looking after us, we still want to have our own say in how we want our death to be. That should include the right to have my fiance there with me. As long as visitor’s are wearing masks and gloves, because if the virus or cancer doesn’t kill us early, not seeing our loved one’s will. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Otherwise what’s the point?

  23. I have been trying to find out if the care home my mother is in is breaking any rules I am not allowed to drop any personal items that she needs I.e sterident, toothpaste, shower gel and a treat. I have disinfected the items and am staying home (My husband is getting shopping). They told me to post it, surely this is more of a risk or they can buy for her. Which is no different to me getting it. I have not been able to visit since the 17th March my mother is of sound mind but her health problem stops her from walking. Please does anyone know if the home can inforce the above?

  24. For the past few years I have had difficulty working out in yard, then in 2017 it got harder and harder to breathe. After many tests, it was a CT scan that showed COPD, emphysema and scarring in my lungs. I quit smoking 8 years ago but the damage has been done. I got to a point I couldn’t catch my breath and was coughing so hard I thought the top of my head would blow off, nothing was really working to help my condition. Finally i came across Herbal Rich Herbal Gardens (ww w. richherbalgardens. c om) December 2018 and learnt about their successful herbal therapy for COPD. I immediately started on the COPD treatment; few weeks into the treatment, i began to notice a reduction in symptoms till it all vanished. I feel better and breath better. I Just wanted to share for people suffering from this horrible lungs disease.

  25. My 81 year old mother has been in a nursing home since she broke her hip and couldn’t transfer. My husband and I used to visit her three times a week. She has mild cognitive decline as a result of her MS, lack of social contact and because of being institutionalised. There have been many days when the shortage of staff has meant that she has had to stay in bed. She is now choosing not to get up, not to eat and does not even want the television on. It really seems as though she is choosing to die.

  26. My mother was in a care home . She had a cold and was put in her room and made to self isolate. She has Dementia and is unsafe to be alone . She was taken to hospital with sever dehydration and bruises We would visit her three times a week . Before the virus. Haven’t seen her for three months now . She is in hospital she hasn’t got the virus so far . Been tested . Now waiting for a new care home . Called the hospital Thursday they where about to transfer her to a care home that had the virus in it . Lucky I stoped this happing by just an hour . Going out my mind with worry every day . God help the people that don’t have a voice . 🙏

  27. A lot of residents have no family and you can’t make that decision for everyone else. You may want to visit your family whereas I would prefer to isolate my family member.

  28. An update to my comments of March 18 we are all entitled to our opinions.My relative was very sadly one of the many statistics of Covid 19 in Care Homes and my family are grieving ,it is very painful.

  29. The above lady prompted me to look back to the comments in March.There seemed to be a lecturing of the relatives by carers and their bosses., nearly a hostile few of relatives.I would imagine that a lot of relatives are grieving now.and deserve everybody s sympathy.

  30. My 94 year old mother has dementia and has been living in a care home for 14 years. Recently she was taken to hospital with suspected covid 19. She tested positive and remained in hospital for two weeks where she miraculously recovered. Her care home wanted Mum to go to a nursing home 30 miles away but I insisted she return home as she was deemed medically fit and all the care home residents are in isolation in their own rooms. I had spoken to Mum on the telephone several times, it was heart wrenching to hear her frightened, lost and confused voice. My insistence paid off and Mum came home. I am desperate to see her and contacted the care home to say I wanted to wave to Mum at her window. I was told that other family members have been to wave to their loved ones, and to come and ring on the front door. I was delighted at this , and hugely relieved as I had been informed of Mum’s declining health and weight loss. But when I arrived at the care home I was told that I could not wave to Mum as she is in isolation and I had been misinformed. I stood there pleading with the care worker that Mum has a right to be visited even if it’s just a wave from outside for two minutes! I said Mum’s mental physical and emotional health is suffering, she does’t have Time and I may never see her again. My heart was breaking and I burst into tears. Of course I know how the staff have a duty of care for my mother and all of the other residents in the home , but I find it totally unacceptable to be turned away having been told that I could wave to my very poorly mother who urgently needs contact with her family.

  31. My 94 year old mother has dementia and has been living in a care home for 14 years. Recently she was taken to hospital with suspected covid 19. She tested positive and remained in hospital for two weeks where she miraculously recovered. Her care home wanted Mum to go to a nursing home 30 miles away but I insisted she return home as she was deemed medically fit and all the care home residents are in isolation in their own rooms. I had spoken to Mum on the telephone several times, it was heart wrenching to hear her frightened, lost and confused voice. My insistence paid off and Mum came home. I am desperate to see her and contacted the care home to say I wanted to wave to Mum at her window. I was told that other family members have been to wave to their loved ones, and to come and ring on the front door. I was delighted at this , and hugely relieved as I had been informed of Mum’s declining health and weight loss. But when I arrived at the care home I was told that I could not wave to Mum as she is in isolation and I had been misinformed. I stood there pleading with the care worker that Mum has a right to be visited even if it’s just a wave from outside for two minutes! I said Mum’s mental physical and emotional health is suffering, she does’t have Time and I may never see her again. My heart was breaking and I burst into tears. Of course I know how the staff have a duty of care for my mother and all of the other residents in the home , but I find it totally unacceptable to be turned away having been told that I could wave to my very poorly mother who urgently needs contact with her family.

  32. Hi my partner gillian suffers from alzsimers has been in a care home since Jan 2019 I go to see her twice a week for the whole day sit with her help feed her and take her out for lunch sometimes I had a knee replacment operation in Jan so could not get to see her I was just able to drive the home went in to lock down I have not seen her for 5 months I ring home every week they tell me she is well I just have to take there word 4 residents have died of the virus I just want to see her again from John

  33. My husband went into a care home from hospital with a infection and delirium he has dementia cac see him through a window he does not understand why i can’t come in his dementia has got worse since going in there if there openings nearly everything else why can we not vist care homes they could take our temperature at doors and we wear masks it looks like care homes are forgotten again one person only why most of this is brought in by staff maintenance men why make our relatives suffer like this why why why

  34. It is heartbreaking for all of us with our parents and close relatives isolated and deteriorating in this way, since 16th March in our case. Prior to this we visited every day for 22 months spending more than 2.400 hours providing direct support, overseeing care and covering external appointments so we know exactly how valuable and vital that support is.. Nothing can take the place of direct family contact where dementia, frailty and deafness are concerned. Everyone has recently tested negative for COVID-19 at our Mother’s home which is wonderful and it is great that residents have been kept safe during the worst of the pandemic. Yes care homes have now reached the garden visit stage observing a 2 meter distance. Our Mother would not understand that at all it would upset her in the same way FaceTime calls have to date. Window visits are impossible for residents on the 2nd floor and she can’t understand how daily family visits have been taken away from her. However there seems no logic in having social support bubbles outside work which have been made available to everyone so includes all care home staff and management with no need for social distance or PPE except to self isolate if someone becomes ill. These members of staff currently go back into work potentially taking virus with them. Surely one family member should be allowed to make a direct visit to a care home resident at this stage to create a social support bubble because there is no more risk in that than being cared for by staff who are mixing in social support bubbles outside work. Our parents and relatives are deteriorating every day and their lockdown at this stage is not necessary. The Government appeared to have no plan in place going into lockdown for care homes and now seems to have no plan or refuse to comment about to come out of it. It doesn’t matter how caring staff are, our parents and relatives are lonely and in decline without family contact and they have just the same human rights as everyone else. To lose them prematurely through enforced long term isolation would be as bad as losing them to the virus.

  35. A very dear friend of ours was put into a care home very soon after xmas 2020 after losing her husband very suddenly a dear friend of ours was put into a carehome,although the staff there are very kind she seems very unhappy,We realise that we cannot visit her but whilst taking her some flowers and chocolates I went to her ground floor room to give her a wave, and was told this was not allowed,I found this extremely upsetting and cannot understand the logic of this as you are allowed a pod visit,which in our friends case is stressful as she is extremely deaf. I feel some of these carehomes should be renamed,institutions spring to mind,It seems that rules override the patient welfare.
    It seems to me that some of these homes should be renamed as institutions.I fear for my friends mental health wi

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