Today’s Government announcement increasing the number of visitors care and nursing home residents can have has met with a cautious welcome from providers.
Provider body The Independent Care Group (ICG) said the increase from one to two visitors and the chance to see grand-children and great-grand-children again was good news for home residents and their families.
The ICG has also supported calls for people over 65 living in care and nursing homes to be able to enjoy carefully organised trips out.
The Government announced today that from 12 April residents in care and nursing homes would be able to have up to two visitors plus small children – it has been just a single visitor since doors opened again on 8 March.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham: “Today’s announcement will be very welcome to home residents and their families, who have been restricted to just one visitor in recent week. It will be nice to bring more people who have been apart for too long, back together and for many the chance to see grand-children and great-grand-children, in some cases for the first time.
“We also support those calling for residents over 65 to be able to enjoy a trip out to get a change of scenery and some fresh air, as those under that age can. It is hard to object to a party of over-65s going out in a minibus, for example, to enjoy a change of scenery and some fresh air, provided they were careful. We would like to see the Government give greater guidance on this going forward.
“Of course, in all of these things we must proceed with care, follow all the guidance on masks, social distancing, PPE and good hygiene. All relaxation of restrictions do bring with them risk, but we have to balance risk with the benefits these changes can bring.
“Our message is: ‘proceed with caution’ adhere to the guidance and let’s keep each other safe.
“We also have to say to families that they will have to be patient with their local homes as these changes will place a lot more pressure on those settings.
“It will mean added workload in terms of testing and managing visits, preparing residents to leave the building and so on. These are welcome changes for our residents and their families but will put further pressure on providers.”