The Relatives & Residents Association (R&RA) is calling for urgent action to end the discrimination against older people still isolated in care.
In a new campaign, the charity has published a video sharing the story of 100-year-old care home resident, Frances, and the continued isolation she and others face in care homes across the country.
Helen Wildbore, director of the Relatives & Residents Association, said: “Frances’ story is a powerful reminder of the very real impact of rules written without respect for the rights of older people. Sadly, our helpline hears that Frances’ story is being repeated in care homes across the country. We must end this discrimination against older people, left behind as the rest of the country gets back to normal. The government must urgently overhaul its visiting guidance and place the rights of people using care at its heart.”
Whilst COVID-19 restrictions were lifted across England in July, people living in care have still been subject to government guidance setting out restrictions on fundamental everyday decisions, like the contact they can have with family and friends.
Frances said: “I hope that very soon care homes will open up and families can all be together, before it is too late. There are still many rules and restrictions that don’t make sense. It doesn’t feel like my home. It feels like this government doesn’t care what’s happening in care homes and we don’t matter because we’re old. How would they like it if they couldn’t go outside or see their families? Give me back my human rights and freedom the same as the rest of the country. I fought for our freedom!”
Linda, her daughter, said: “I have felt anger and frustration at the government’s continued disregard of the human rights and equality of residents in care homes. I believe that the relatives of the people in care homes during lockdown will live with a legacy of guilt, anger, hurt, and with an emotional turmoil and pain that will never be erased.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are doing everything we can to support care providers to facilitate visits safely including ensuring all residents can nominate an essential care giver, removing limits on visitors and reducing the period of time visit restrictions apply following an outbreak.
“Our message is clear – all care home residents should be supported to get the care and companionship they need from visitors as this is essential to their health and wellbeing.”
View the video ‘Living Through COVID in Care: Frances’ story’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0jEwOPiiDM