Trevor with his wife Yvonne

Separation from care homes: 'Lockdown instantly disconnected us'

For 12 weeks, Trevor has been unable to visit his wife, Yvonne, who lives in a care home. Trevor wants assurance from Government that they will consider the needs of people living with dementia, like Yvonne, as they begin to ease lockdown restrictions.

It has been 12 weeks since Trevor has been able to visit his wife, Yvonne, who has dementia, at her care home.

For nine and a half years, Yvonne and Trevor were able to manage her condition together.

In May 2019, it was decided by Trevor and their children that the best next step, for both Yvonne and Trevor, was for her to move into residential care near their family home.

Since then, the family have been greatly content with the level of care Yvonne has received. 

‘It was so important to me that the care home staff became Yvonne’s surrogate family, and the residents became her friends. That’s exactly what happened.’ 

Despite his trust in the quality of care Yvonne has received, Trevor is deeply concerned that the ongoing pandemic is forcing him and other families to lose control of their loved ones and their care.

With little mention of plans for care homes in lockdown easements, low staff workforces, and inadequate testing and PPE provision in care homes, Trevor fears that his wife’s condition is being put at risk. 

 'People living with dementia need routine and stimulation, familiarity and hugs. With the arrival of coronavirus, and as a result of lockdown in her care home, the regular heartbeat of life in the home changed overnight.

'The familiar faces of care home staff, family and friends ceased to appear, and of necessity carers had to hide behind masks and were unable to wrap their arms around the residents.

'It is no wonder that Yvonne lost her sparkle and found herself in a world which she doesn’t understand.'

Trevor's wife, Yvonne, sitting outdoors

Yvonne sitting outside and enjoying the outdoors

Breaking threads of recognition

Trevor understands that a period of lockdown and measures taken to stop care home visits were necessary.

But like many other families, Trevor wants to know what will happen next.

'I feel resigned to the fact that the situation is out of my control, which is definitely a first for me as a carer.'

'Lockdown instantly disconnected us.'

'I know the staff at the care home are doing an amazing job looking after the residents.

'However, if the lockdown continues for many more weeks – and this is quite probable – then I fear that the thread of recognition could perhaps be irreversibly broken between my wife, myself and all our family and friends.

'The Government still seems incapable of considering the complex nature of dementia and the potential devastation further lockdown could have on people living with the condition and their families.

‘I am so grateful to the care home, but this isn’t just down to them. The Government needs to step up.’

Keeping in touch

'When lockdown began, I asked for a process to be put in place so that we could be in touch with Yvonne.

'The care home manager actioned this and all loved ones can schedule weekly Facetime, Skype and WhatsApp video calls. This works for now, but it is not sustainable for Yvonne’s condition.'

Trevor and Yvonne on a four-way video call with family

Trevor and Yvonne on a four-way video call with family

'At my request, the care home manager also implemented weekly Zoom meetings with all primary loved ones for residents.

'In terms of staying in contact and knowing what’s happening in the care home, this is probably as good as it can get.

'The care home manager can’t be solely responsible for offering and finding solutions.'

'Lockdown easements and planning continue to be underway for just about every group of people. Government are yet to give any guidance on what happens next in care homes.

'Regular testing of all residents and staff at the home would provide me with a degree of reassurance that the virus will be kept at bay and that a second spike won’t occur. The country’s leadership are the only people who can enforce this.'

An urgent need for Government action

People affected by dementia have been worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic – facing devastation at home, in their community and in care homes. The effects of the outbreak cannot be undone, but action can be taken to better protect people now, and in the future. To make this happen, urgent solutions must be put in place to better protect, support and connect people affected by dementia during the pandemic.

Alzheimer’s Society have secured a parliamentary debate on the shattering impact of Covid-19 on families affected by dementia. We have shared thousands of lived experiences with government, but you can also make sure your MP represents you.

Government must take urgent action

Help us maximise MP engagement in our upcoming parliamentary debate by writing to them to ensure they take part.

Write to my MP
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40 comments

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My fathers 82 dementia final stage, survived a recent covid infection outbreak within the carehome, visiting has become progressively more and more impossible and meaningless with ever progressing constraints, restrictions, rules and hoops to jump through! Rapid flow tests to stand In the home carpark and wave through the windows. These homes have little or no intention of allowing meaningful visits inside for fear of destroying their income streams, an outbreak sees them unable to fill empty beds for a month whilst fees are not paid when residents die leaving vacant rooms. Relatives are not welcome to see inside & to realise the true hardships of out family members decline under restrictions. Mass direct action is the only way to open up visiting again! Withhold fees and watch the care homes shout from the roof and cast out your relative quick enough at that point when they see no money coming in!. The government will support home owners as the industry is a profit generating problem solved as far as they are concerned. 380,000 private beds making £1.3billion profit a year for their owners. The government will protect them above the rights of families & individuals to see & be with them even after vaccinations have been in effect. Direct action, withhold your fees or this will become the no visitor sector for years to come. Our relatives do not have the luxury of time to wait for reunions, each day they slip further into isolation and abandoned hopeless loss. Open up now!

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I have just visited my mother in care home she was so frightened to see me in a room set aside for the visit all she wanted to do was to ask me to take her back to her room I realised she felt as though being out of her room she has been in for a year was the only place she was safe so visits for the future are going to be so hard till she gets over been scared I could see in her face how sad she was when I said goodbye hope I will be able to see her more than twice a week in the weeks to come

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Exactly the same scenario with my husband. It is so upsetting all round and the burden of guilt you carry for placing them there just gets heavier. I also find it so insulting that a 'rave' can go ahead with no precautions but we and our loved ones are banned from any closeness.

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My mum moved into a home in December. From day one, we felt disconnected. She got taken from us at the front door, and there has been minimal contact. I saw her just after Christmas in a bleak, bare room after being told she couldn’t have her presents. She had no idea what was going on. It was so upsetting, and I haven’t seen her since - we are a huggy family, and I know that’s what she needs more than anything. Unfortunately, mum doesn’t understand FaceTime, so that’s no good. I know the consequences of this virus - I’m a front line worker - but I also see the even bigger devastating effects this social isolation and lack of physical contact has on people with cognitive impairment (not just my mum). I’m lucky that I’ve had my vaccinations, as has my mum, but the new guidance is a lateral flow test and hand-holding with gloves on! Gloves do not protect. Hand washing does. But limited physical contact does have a huge health impact. Overall had I known how low the situations would be, we would have kept mum with us.

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My husband is in a care home with Alzheimer’s disease. The last time I saw him was last September and then only for several minutes. It was his 80th birthday and our 58th wedding anniversary so I took presents, cards etc to him. I had to sit 2+ meters apart with mask on and the care assistant was opening his cards etc. He tried to get up but was kept sitting down. He became distressed which affected me and the care worker took him away.
It is 5 months since I’ve seen him and 13 months since my 3 kids have seen their Dad. He was a hands on father who supported them in everything they did. He followed his grandchildren when they played football and cricket and took them golfing. They loved him. We have tried FaceTiming but he just touches the screen. He needs hugs and cuddles, holding his hand, kissing his cheeks. I am pretty sure he will not know any of us when all this happens again, but we know who HE is.
The home he is in still has the Perspex window between and just one visitor who must be the same person each time. I am nearly 80 and we all live 30+ miles away and our kids are all essential workers.
We’ve all had our first vaccine and only 4 weeks away from our second and he will have had his. We just want to give him a hug to let him know he’s not forgotten by us all.
When is this NIGHTMARE going to end?
I am trying to keep things together for the sake of everyone, but it is slowly killing me. We have written to our MP, Health Minister and others but all you get is a bog standard emails back.
I know that there are thousands and thousands in the same position as I am and can really feel for them, we just need to be listened to. They just say “I know how you feel” but NO THEY DO NOT.

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Dear Pauline
I have just read your situation which mirrors mine. LIKE YOU I feel so helpless. My HUSBAND WENT Into care just before lockdown last year. We had managed his condition for about 10 years at home I feel very guilty now having agreed to him going into care, Because of this pandemic he has gone from walking, talking feeding himself to being totally dependent on care, being fed washed hoisted and not talking. It is inhuman that the close family cannot have essential contact as time is so precious. We have been married for 56 years and faced everything together, this situation is unbearable and inhuman. Carehomes do there best to follow guidelines the possibility of being sued makes a scary scenario for them but the majority of people just want the contact with their loved ones whilst there is time. I know I do.

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My mum and dad are both 90 years old, they both had strokes within 5 weeks of each other and spent 5 weeks in hospital before being transferred to separate nursing and care homes. Before that they were living together in their own home of 60 years. That was in 2017...Due to Covid they have not seen each other since January 2020....During 2020 they both turned 90 and had their 66th wedding anniversary... When will they be able to see each other again ...if ever...they both now suffer with dementia and Alzheimers...

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In 6 weeks time it will be a year since I last physically hugged my husband and partner of 40 years. In that time I have seen him 3 times on carefully managed, socially distanced visits of 30 minutes. The last was in September.
We have managed to Face time on most days and, although I am grateful for this, those of you with relatives with dementia will understand that this is no substitute for actual physical contact. A lot of the time I end up speaking to the ceiling light as my husband puts the phone on the table!
Government edicts on visiting policies are totally meaningless soundbites as decisions on visiting are left to individual care home managers and providers. Quite naturally they are not willing to take the perceived risk to either their residents or their business so impose blanket bans on visiting.
Although it is heartening that residents in my husband’s care home (and many of the staff) have had their first vaccine , there is no apparent policy in place as to how this will affects their visiting policy.
As there is also no apparent priority for those of us under 70 and in good health,but with spouses or parents in a care home to be given the vaccine it may well be another 6 months at least before I get to hug my husband again.
Although he is being well looked after in the home I feel that we are,once again, the forgotten ones. Those in control seem to be giving quantity of life far more importance than quality of life.
This is having a devastating effect on care home residents and their families.
I feel that the dementia charities should be far more proactive than they have been in solving this issue. A letter to the government will have no effect- you all need to get together and have a much more public and coordinated campaign urgently.
It is already too late for many families

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Hi Maggie,

Thanks for your comment, and we're very sorry to hear about this situation with your husband.

We are also sorry to hear you feel charities like us have not been proactive enough. To reassure you, we have been campaigning on this issue since April 2020 when we first started to recognise the impact a lack of social contact could have on people living with dementia - this blog is helpful for stating our position: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/news/2020-06-04/coronavirus-social-contac…

Our campaigning efforts have been both public, across several national media print and broadcast outlets, and behind closed doors in significant meetings with senior members of government. We are confident that our efforts led to the care home visitor pilot scheme and a promise from the Government of meaningful visits before Christmas.

We are now working hard to ensure that the Government stays true to its commitment for vaccination rollouts in care homes, and calling for a clear plan on how this will enable meaningful care home visits when it is safe to do so, as a priority.

If you haven't already, you can sign up to get the latest on our campaign activity here: https://e-activist.com/page/59482/data/1

If you need dementia support, please remember we're here for you and you can call our Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456.

Hope this is helpful, Maggie.

Alzheimer's Society blog team

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Same story for me. I had three window visits in a year. My husband only went in for a fortnights respite but deteriorated so quickly being stuck in his room most of the time. He died last week... my lovely lovely husband. We both had the vaccine but I was told I still couldn’t see him until lockdown was over. I’m so sad and bitter. We were robbed of our last year together. He walked to the home and was fine. I know the solitude killed him.

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We are so very sorry to hear about the recent loss of your husband, Margaret. This must be an extremely difficult time for you.

We'd strongly recommend speaking with one of our dementia advisers through our Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456. They can listen and provide emotional support. Opening hours are available here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/dementia-connect-support-line

Sending our deepest condolences, Margaret.

Alzheimer's Society blog team

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My Mum is in a Care Homes UK I leapt for joy when Boris announced last week that care homes would allow visits. At last I thought I can actually go and see my Mum who not only has Lewi Body Dementia but Parkinsons as well. I have struggled as My Dad her husband has been kept away from his wife (50 yrs of marriage) and the elation we felt when we were told that Boris wanted things to change and that Matt Hancock also announced,"People living in care homes in England will soon be allowed to have loved ones visit them inside their residence, so long as the facility has been made Covid-secure,
Matt Hancock acknowledged "people are yearning to see their loved ones" and said announcements will be made in the "next few days" setting out how safe visits can occur.

"There'll be more details soon, but I think that people are yearning to see their loved ones and the residents of care homes get so much from visitors," Mr Hancock told ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand.

"It's been a very, very long period and that period where there hasn’t been any visiting to care homes, that’s coming to an end very soon." I was so excited to think finally we could go and see our relatives and spend quality time with them. Not the case it seems. Care homes are still limiting visits Monday to Friday only and for 30 mins only. Sometimes it takes my Mum over 30 mins to hold just a small conversation, she doesnt understand why we are not there any more. It would be cruel to her to go for 30 mins and then leave . I live a 3 and half hour car drive away from my Mum and would love to visit but I am still working Monday to Friday and during these difficult times need to be in the work place as well so it is a very difficult thing to try and balance.

I have tired to talk to the home to arrange a visit on a Saturday where I am told that the nursing homes cannot or will not provide Saturday or Sunday visits for families.
This makes what Boris said an absolute farce. My Mum has deteriorated without the constant daily visits from my Dad and interactions from other family members Each weekend. She has stopped communicating and trying to do a zoom meeting is just too hard. She doesn’t understand why we are not there.

Am I alone in this or are other families also feeling the harshness of still not being allowed to see family members.
I dont know if you can help at all but I am sure I am not alone with this continued frustration. If I wanted to see someone in Prison I would get a much better opportunity. The care home my Mum is in charges high rates and should be fully staffed yet they are keeping us away. I would love to start a families blog or something as I feel alone with all this Care Homes UK are keeping us away so if anyone feels like me I would love to hear from you. we have to try

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I totally get where you’re coming from... half an hour visit once a week and no spaces left this week cos we were told we have to book 2 weeks in advance. I also work 5 days a week and am 80 miles away ! My father has been there for 3 months and we still havent got a copy of his assessment as he’s self funding... he feels he’s not long for this world (94) and cries on the phone... now for his last wish, he’s begging me to take him to Scotland for a holiday but the home has told me they’re not going to allow it. I said he can isolate for two weeks on his return and it will just be me and him. Mum wouldn’t allow it either... now i’m looking to put him in a different care home when we come back.... so stressed😟!

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Hi Nicky Im suprised no one replied to your post, there must be loads of us. I feel exactly like you and its so stressful. The guidelines made everything much worse and theres no end in sight. My mum pays nearly 1k a week and Im really worried about the lack of transparency now. Unfortunately the c/home manager is not at all helpful. It feels as though they prefer to keep relatives at arms length now as its easier for them and as the government have give the homes and managers all the power, I wonder if they will ever feel motivated to open up properly. The fact it has gone on so long is really terrible. I do hope you have managed to arrange some contact with your Mum. Would be interested to know, if you get a chance to update. . Take care..

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You are echoing my sentiments exactly Nikki. My mum was only in a care home for 1 week before lockdown began. She is in a large care home with a lovely big garden but we are still only able to have visits through a small gap in a sash window next to a noisy road which makes it even harder to talk to someone who is already confused with Alzheimer's. We have been told they don't think mum will understand social distancing so can't have garden visits. We have had to push for regular phone calls and these have to be booked Monday day to Friday between 9 and 5 pm, which is difficult when both me and my sister work full time. When I arrange my day to be at home for phone calls they often don't happen at the correct time. We have been told the home is not likely to get back to normal until a vaccine is found. We feel really powerless and need our voices to be heard. . Also,I'm not sure giving care home managers the final decision on opening is a good idea. It is a massive responsibility that many will be petrified of making. Government guidelines need to be very specific to protect them from potential litigation but also protect our loved ones human rights and right to a family life. . In the meantime, more funding for staff to help with visits and keeping in contact with families may help? Does anyone know if there is a specific campaign for pushing the government to find a safe strategy for opening carehomes. ? We have written to our MPs but can't find much on the internet relating to this.

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My dad is 94 and in a nursing home for the past six months all I can do is knock on his bedroom window this thankfully is ground floor and wave at him and blow kisses. He spends days in his bedroom due to Covid and I see the sadness in him he feels like he’s locked in. We used to go out for a drive twice a week into the countryside he so loved it. When will it end all I want to do is hug him and see him smile again.

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I fully understand all these comments and face my own isolation from my husband of 54 years (55 Emerald anniversary March 19 th 21). They are currently suffering their first positive case and all confined to their rooms 😕 but no visiting for last4 weeks, has caused his mood very low and mine too. I commend the safety they have secured but another 4 weeks will really send him spirli g much faster and spending Christmas apart and alone I his room😢, our local MP trying to get clarity from them

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Hi Nicky, I feel exactly the same as you. My husband is in a care uk home, he suffers with vascular dementia, I miss him so much and feel as if the home are not even trying to come up with solutions to help us visit our loved ones. Every time I speak to them they tell me they're following the government guidelines, but I feel as if they are interpreting them to suit themselves. Last time I spoke to them they said they were getting a pod to enable us to visit , I told them I wont be visiting my husband with a screen between us, he cannot communicate through a screen and to even suggest it is beyond cruel. I have read that some homes are already testing family members and allowing visits, hand holding and hugging. This was happening before the trials that started on Monday. The whole situation is horrendous and I spend most of my days crying and worrying about how my husband of 47 years is coping without me. I used to visit him every day from 2pm to 7.30pm. Facetime calls are horrendous, he cannot communicate through a screen, every time I have one I feel so upset, thinking the care workers can hold his hand and I cant. I'm afraid he wont want to know me when i eventually get in to see him.

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Hi
I am in a similar position. My dad got moved from supported living to a care home during lockdown. He was moved because an adult protection order was raised because he was continually pressing his alarm at night and couldn't answer the response team so an ambulance was sent out frequently.
We couldn't settle him in the home because of COVID. I have a weekly video call where I see my dad looking very miserable .Phone calls are very stressful because it always takes a long time for someone to answer or I am told he is sleeping or if I do get to speak to him my dad struggles to speak to find words because he has a cognitive impairment.
I was continually told that he was eating and then to be told he has lost a stone in weight after just five weeks devastated me.
I did get an outside visit last week. When I seen my dad I w as saddened to see the weight that he has lost and seeing him look very miserable.
He now looks very old after five weeks. That is the first time in my life that I considered my dad old. I am crying as I type this because I am realising my biggest fear which is moving him to a care home could kill him. It was out of our hands because of the adult protection order.
I was used to caring for my dad for three and a half years see him at least three years.
I feel distraught tearful and I didnt want my dad to suffer the last years of his life. My dad is eight eight

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It is heart breaking the ignorance around dementia and the sheer lack of humanity shown to the elderly in Britain. My mother's care home was brilliant but the management changed and the home has become corporate and institutionalised. My mother's dementia is in late stage so she needed 'less stimulation' so her quality of care dropped significantly, becoming more like warehousing. I have a background in cognitive neuroscience and health care so can say categorically more stimulation, albeit different stimulation is needed, not less. Due to my background I picked up on my mother's dementia type and finally after, many, many letters requested a specialist to confirm my thoughts on this. The type of dementia she has affects all her autonomic functions including swallowing so I spent many, many hours feeding her and bringing food in I knew she liked.
Partly because of the poorer care I decided to move her back home for her last months, possibly years. The sofa was moved out for the equipment to come in then COVID-19!!! I was blocked from taking her out and the care home locked down. The last date I saw her was Friday, March 13th. I 'booked' to see her for the first time on July 23rd, as the care home was opening back up, approximately 19 weeks ago. I fear because she is 'too slow' eating and I can not visit and feed her, she will have lost a lot of weight. Then on July 22nd I get a call stating my visit has been cancelled. I was furious! The reason given, one staff member had COVID-19 like symptoms so out of "an abundance of caution" everyone was going back into isolation. I considered this completely over the top. I have my own PPE, respirator, gloves, goggles and a plastic poncho and the home has tests so people should not be incarcerated as my unfortunate mother was over Easter, when they didn't have tests. Her type of dementia will always cause COVID like symptoms. The worst part is, this care home has a lovely garden that can be accessed without going into the care home. I can't take her out of the care home, nor visit her in the care home and unfortunately in a few weeks time I will have to leave the country to sort out affairs. This is truly, an abysmal time for my mother who said to me "I don't care what they do to me as long as you are there" and I am NOT!!!! I am sure many are dying of broken hearts not COVID.

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My Mam and Dad were moved into a Care Home on a temporary basis in January, due to Covid they have remained in there ever since. Dad had a mild case of dementia and Mam was diagnosed with anxiety and depression due to this and not being able to cope. Everything was fine prior to the lockdown we could visit whenever we wanted. However since March we haven’t been able to visit apart from a few visits outside talking to them over the garden wall. Dad sadly passed away in June, which has been devastating for us all. He was admitted to hospital and we were allowed to visit there as long as we wore masks but it’s been very hard for us. They have been married for 61 years. The care home have been very good since this happened, allowing me to see Mam as long as I am wearing all the PPE but only this week are now saying that I can only visit Mam in the garden and talk to her over the garden wall. Yesterday I planned to visit however it started raining so the visit was cancelled and I wasn’t allowed inside to see her. This is unacceptable, she needs her family more than ever during this time. It breaks my heart, I am POA for Mam and always have her best interests at heart. I’m so worried about her. Things have got to change!

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When are the government going to get their act together and finally realize that just seeing care staff, day in, day out, without talking to relatives and friends, is going to kill care home residents a lot sooner than the actual virus itself? It's deprivation of liberty and mental abuse. Fear-mongering is all good until people become tired of the same clap trap repeating over and over. Seems like it's not going to end. I can't help but imagine the absolutely huge backlash the british government are going to get from the british public over this. As long as we wear masks while visiting care homes, then there shouldn't really be any "problem". Maybe it's just me but I have a really grave feeling about what could actually be behind all of this care home visiting ban. And if it turns out to be exactly what I think the actual reason is, then I'll be so disgusted with them. Care staff will never be enough to keep care home residents going. This is why they quickly deteriorate without seeing personal family and friends from the outside world. It's soul destroying. They can't just be expected to look all happy or to be having a good time during lockdown. We are talking about care home residents mental wellbeing. What are the British government even doing anymore? I despair. Just last week I heard on the news that care homes were going to reopen their doors to visitors. A week later they still haven't. Tell us lies. Tell us sweet little lies :/ Another thing that makes me laugh, is the government opened up the bars and restaurants and then closed them again. Just wow. And I thought CRIMINALS were bad. They seem okay in comparison. I jest ;) It's just so frustrating. So much for "Happy New Year".

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I totally agree. Care Homes are essentially businesses no matter how good their reputation is. Care staff keeping residents safe during this pandemic, which we are all very grateful for, is not the same as understanding the heartbreak that a resident is going through having lost contact with loved ones for so long, only a family member would understand their sadness. No resident really enjoys being in a care home it will have been their last option due to frailty with the only enjoyment being family visits to support them. Every resident is different too and some will be far more challenged than others during lockdown. Take a person who requires help with mobility and is hard of hearing, lip reads and can understand a lot of what is going on but has difficulty in expressing themselves due to dementia. Carers haven’t got the time to spend chatting or dealing with a case like that as they are busy with a number of other people to care for. FaceTime family calls don’t work where there is hearing difficulty. Then put that resident on the second floor where they cannot see loved ones through the window! More recent 2 metres apart garden visits only work for residents without dementia and hearing issues because they can’t lip read through a mask or understand why there are no hugs etc. The care home I refer to has remained COVID free to date. Our relative who has had two negative COVID results returned at the home following an infection was still isolated for14 days in their room. During recovery in isolation they became worryingly ill reaching code red level so we were allowed a direct visit wearing masks and having a temperature check etc. As soon as our relative saw us they rallied immediately and remained totally elated because we were able to hug and touch while we were allowed 30min daily visits for 5 days. That proves how vital family contact is. Now our relative has recovered to code amber level the direct visits have been stopped and we are only allowed garden visits. So our relative won’t understand what is going on and will start to deteriorate again. Hopefully they will have the strength to remain well. Sense needs to prevail soon in this sector to allow direct family visits wearing PPE or even allow a family member to have a COVID test and be given key worker status for their relative with dementia before that relative is lost and becomes a LOCKDOWN rather than a COVID statistic.

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It seems bizarre that all focus is on getting people back in pubs and restaurants!!!!! The focus should be in ensuring our loved ones get the love and support they so desperately need at this confusing and horrendous time. We try to console ourself by saying ‘ Well ... They don’t remember anyway, They were confused and unhappy at home’ but the reality is they are still human beings in need of love and the touch of a loved ones hand.
I think we shut a few politicians away for 4 months with no contact to loved ones and little access to the outside world. It’s a scandal......

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I agree with you, Patricia :) Four months isn't long enough to make the government stay in their own homes. I think make them do a lockdown for five years. Let's see how THEY cope with it? I don't want to become a country like Japan where we mainly rely on technology and robots. The elderly are always feeling left out because of social networks. Elderly care home residents wouldn't have a clue about technology and social networking.

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My mum is 56 and has early onset Alzheimers and is in residential care. I have seen a decline in mums mood greatly and she says she hopes God takes her as she feels she is in prison. I can't begin to imagine how it feels to walk the same corridors endlessly trying to pass the time and not be able to do anything outside of the same building for months. I guess it must be like prison for all of them. Mum is still mobile and has times when she is very lucid so she gets why she is on lockdown but also asks me to contact the government so they can do something to get her out. It's hard hearing her say she wished she was dead but I'm not able to do anything other than bring her gifts and see her through the window. When she loses things she gets upset and I can't help her find them as I used to. I feel like I have no visability on her care at all now, daily phone calls last a while with mum telling me what troubles she's had that day and that she doesn't understand why she cant have a normal day. I am glad she is safe but I really feel something has to be put in place to have some light at the end of the tunnel. At least then it would provide some comfort to family and residents of residential care to know that good is coming and we can hug each other and comfort each other once again.

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Hi Jazz,

Thanks for your comment, we're so sorry to hear about this situation with your mum.

This sounds really difficult for you. If you ever need some more support, please know that you can speak to one of our trained dementia advisers who can listen to your situation and provide ideas, advice and support. Please either email [email protected] or call our Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456. The support line is open seven days a week:

9.00am to 8.00pm Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
9.00am to 5.00pm Thursday and Friday
10.00am to 4.00pm Saturday and Sunday

We also have some information on our website that you may find helpful - including pages on keeping in touch with somebody in a care home during coronavirus, and supporting somebody with depression or low mood.

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/coronavirus/dementia-care-hom…

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/symptoms-and-diagnosis/apa…

Hope these are helpful, Jazz, and remember the support line is there if you'd find it helpful to talk to somebody.

Alzheimer's Society's blog team

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My mum is 97 and has dementia. She had a fall in her care home on Sunday & broke her hip. She was sent to hospital in pain, alone and we are still not able to visit her. Even after a hip replacement operation. The hospital has a no visitors policy. She is deaf and very confused . She will wonder why no family are visiting her. This situation is a disgrace. I haven’t seen my mum for 4 months. Residents in care homes have been forgotten.

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My mum is 98 and been in a care home for over 3 years, we are a very close family and visited mum every day she hasn't always received the best care but we were able to monitor that and report our concerns but now as the home has been in locked down since March 19th we can no longer do that but are assured by the staff when we ring that mum is ok ? We have tried Skype but mum doesn't understand and she gets upset so we don't do it anymore so just relient on us ringing the home. Mum has been put on end of life care during the lock down and we are desperate to spend time with her. The government need to prioritize the care homes , we need to see our loved ones while we can.

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There was an uproar in America when ppl stood by as George Ffloyd was killed,as he cried out”I can’t breathe” yet I literally have to watch my mother”dying “ a little EVERY time I visit thro a care home window.cos she doesn’t understand WHY I’ m not helping her with this decease,as I normally do.When will the govt understand she is MORE at risk of her health deteriorating thro this,than the risk of Covid.HOW MUCH LONGER ??!!!

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Hi Linda. I keep wondering MYSELF about how much longer this care home visiting ban is going to go on for? It's all very well mentioning that care home staff are "trying their best to take care" of care home residents, but this visiting ban will leave a huge mental scar in care homes residents mental wellbeing. Only seeing care staff for months on end, isn't enough to keep a care home resident content. It's just so patronizing how care home managers think that as long as their staff are there, then the residents don't exactly need to see family and friends physically. I find it very worrying. Even though care homes are getting a lot more credit during lockdown, I can't help but wonder. Care home residents need their relatives and their friends. I bet they're so tired of seeing the same old four walls of their care home. It's like psychological torture.

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