Keeping in touch with loved ones in care homes

Keeping in touch with loved ones in care homes

Warrington Borough Council, working alongside the town’s care providers, is doing all it can to protect care home residents from the risk of coronavirus, whilst emphasising the importance of care home residents maintaining contact with loved ones.

Some of our most vulnerable residents are those living in care homes and, in line with government guidance, there continues to be restrictions on visitors to keep people safe due to the high risk of transmission.

The impact of not being able to see friends and family during the pandemic has been significant for many care home residents and their loved ones, which is recognised by local care providers who are responsible for the welfare of their residents and staff. The council is therefore supporting local care providers, residents and their families to keep in touch, with alternative methods of communication being offered.

The current situation is that face-to-face visiting in care homes is only taking place in exceptional circumstances in order to keep residents and care workers as safe as possible.

In line with the current restrictions for face-to-face care home visiting in exceptional circumstances only, risk assessments are being undertaken, to balance and consider the risk of transmission with the potential impact of face-to-face visits not taking place.

The council is committed to working with care homes to help facilitate essential visits where not seeing loved ones would present significant physical and/or mental health risks. This could include:

  • Someone’s health or wellbeing (physical or mental) may deteriorate significantly without seeing friends or family (e.g. someone with a learning disability, autism or dementia).
  • Someone is close to the end of their life, and allowing visits will mean they have a comfortable and dignified death.

Cllr Rebecca Knowles, cabinet member for statutory health and adult social care, said: “Our first priority is the wellbeing and safety of residents and reducing the risk of coronavirus transmission in our care homes, which is particularly important at this time when case numbers are rising.

“We understand that not being able to visit loved ones in person is distressing for many people and I send my sincere sympathy to every family facing this situation. However, we must continue to ask for everyone’s support and patience, as we work together to keep people safe. We want to do all we can to make sure our care home residents and families can still keep in touch, but we also know that it is so important to look at different and creative ways to maintain meaningful contact.

“Care homes across the borough are working incredibly hard to keep people safe and well looked after. Through their own risk assessments, they are reviewing methods for contact, as well as keeping loved ones updated. We would encourage family and friends to maintain contact as much as possible using a variety of ways such as writing, online, or over the phone, as this connection with loved ones can make such a big difference.”

For the latest information on coronavirus in Warrington, please visit our coronavirus pages.

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