Light at the End of the Tunnel for Care Home Residents

Published: 16/04/2021

Light at the End of the Tunnel for Care Home Residents

People living with dementia have been through an especially challenging time over the past year due to the pandemic.

The disruption to their routines has resulted in many deteriorating faster than would have been expected – in part due to a lack of social interaction.

Whilst this has impacted on everyone affected by dementia, it has been particularly hard for those in care homes – where some 70% of residents have the condition.

For their loved ones too, it was heart-breaking to have to rely on video calls and window visits that many found confusing, and at times upsetting.

Thankfully, restrictions were eased at many care homes last month and, on 12 April, it was announced that every care home resident in England can now have two named visitors.

These visitors should be tested, wear PPE and follow all infection control measures during visits. 

It’s a welcome step forward. Meaningful, face-to-face visits are vital to the wellbeing of people living with dementia.

The new guidelines mean provision can be made for ‘essential carers’ where there may be a need for family members to provide more personal, close contact care. 

These long-awaited visits come as the light at the end of the tunnel after a lonely, isolated year.

As visits take place, it’ll be important that each residents’ individual needs are met, and care homes facilitate visits on a case-by-case basis.

As the vaccine continues to roll out across the nation, and infection rates slowly decrease, we’re hopeful that we’ll soon get to a place where family members will no longer need to decide who gets to visit.

In the meantime, the safety of residents and staff is of utmost priority, and we cannot afford to be complacent given the destruction and pain this pandemic has caused so many heartbroken families.

  • Ken Oxley is Media Officer for Alzheimer’s Society in the North East, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Ken Oxley

Media Officer

North East, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Alzheimer’s Society

07874 886222