After closing its doors on the 19th March, Barley View care home in Whitworth have announced they will once again be welcoming visitors as of the 3rd September. The move comes as local restrictions are lifted and a new, purpose-built summer house is ready to facilitate safe visits.
Barley View’s 28-bedroom care home comprises two 14-bed communities providing both residential and specialist dementia care. Staff at the home took the early decision to suspend all non-essential visits in order to protect residents and staff and limit the risk of infection. The decision has certainly paid off with no confirmed cases among Barley View residents to date.
The new summer house has been custom built to provide a welcoming and above all safe environment for relatives to enjoy face to face visits with loved ones. Visitors and residents will be accommodated in separate partitioned sections of the summer house to minimise risk of infection. Rather than feeling clinical or sterile, it is hoped that the summerhouse will create a holiday home feel while keeping all parties safe.
Having originally planned to welcome visitors in early August, the imposition of local restrictions for large parts of the North West on 30th July meant Barley View had to postpone visits in line with Government guidance.
Although many homes have introduced outdoor garden visits, which carry a lower risk or transmission, this was not suitable for all residents at Barley View. As half of the home’s residents are living with dementia, socially distanced outdoor visiting was simply not an option. Instead, the safest option was to create a visiting space that was separate from the main home where visitors and residents would not share the same space but could easily see each other face to face.
“We hope to create a dignified, private ‘face-to-’face’ visit for each resident in a ‘home from home’ environment. Ideally, the resident and visitor after a time will no longer notice the glass partition dividing them and feel connected after such a long time apart. The new summer house will help protect residents from touch and aerial transmission of the virus and provide a massive boost to their emotional wellbeing and health.”
Jane Williamson, Head of Care at Barley View
The news has been met with enthusiasm from all residents for whom, the strict lockdown measures have been especially challenging.
“My granddaughter lives up the road but she couldn’t come in and my grandson couldn’t come in. I can’t wait to go out and see them! When I came to Barley View at first, they used to come in and keep me company you know. My grandson thought it was great when he was sat up on my bed, being able to see the television.”