Leading care body, the Relatives & Residents Association (R&RA) has slammed a government ban on care home residents over 65 from spending Christmas with their families.
Helen Wildbore, director of the R&RA, (pictured) said the cut off, which was revealed yesterday, was “arbitrary and unfair”.
The R&RA said the government had “given with one hand and taken with the other” following its early announcement that testing would enable family visits at Christmas.
“If those living in care didn’t already feel like prisoners in their own homes, Government rules to lock people in over Christmas will be a new low in attempts to control the virus,” the R&RA said.
The group said it was already receiving calls from family members in tears over the new guidance.
“Older people in care have now faced restrictions and isolation over nine months,” the R&RA said.
“This is having a devastating impact on older people’s mental health and their rights. Too many residents have been told during this period that they are not allowed to leave their homes, interfering with their right to liberty (protected by Article 5 of the Human Rights Act). We have already seen these restrictions leading to desperate scenes of families ‘rescuing’ their relatives from care homes and many more families considering a move out of care.
“We urge the Government to rethink this heart-breaking policy. Whilst the rest of the country will be free to celebrate, reconnect and make precious memories, those living in care who have been at the sharp end of coronavirus restrictions, with dire and tragic consequences, cannot be left behind in continued isolation.”
The R&RA’s statement came as the Mirror reported that care homes were being told to ask family members for clearance to begin COVID vaccinations which could begin as soon as next month.