DHSC: Visiting arrangements in care homes for the period of national restrictions – Alzheimer’s Society comments

Alzheimer's Society comments on care home visiting guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care.

Read the most recent guidance on visiting care homes during coronavirus.

Following the guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care which applies for the period of the national restrictions beginning 5 November 2020. 

Kate Lee, Chief Executive Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
"The Government’s announcement of the new care home guidance on visitations during the second lockdown is still missing the mark. This guidance will also put lives at risk.

"It can’t be assumed that care homes have the resource, space and time to put in place some of the suggested options, and which have the potential to cause distress to people with dementia, particularly those in the later stages. 

"During the four months of the first lockdown, we saw an unexpected rise in dementia deaths in care homes that were not coronavirus related – we believe these 5,000 additional deaths could be as a result of disruptions to a threadbare social care system, and prolonged social isolation, causing dementia symptoms to rapidly deteriorate. A survey conducted by Alzheimer’s Society showed that 80 per cent of family members have seen their loved one’s condition worsen during before their very eyes.  

"We’re disappointed on behalf of people affected by dementia that the Government is yet to give family carers key worker status and access to PPE and regular testing. It’s essential for meaningful human contact, which you just can’t get through a piece of glass, to provide care safely and to limit the spread of the virus – anything less is completely unacceptable."