Visiting care homes during coronavirus

Content originally from Healthwatch

The arrival of COVID-19 has meant that a number of restrictions have been placed on care homes to prevent the spread of infection and ensure the health and safety of both care workers and its residents.

As the rate of infection is decreasing across the country, these restrictions are being lifted however a number of changes will be put in place to keep you and your loved ones safe.

This guidance has been taken from gov.uk.

When will I be able to visit a care home?

All decisions on the circumstances, times and frequency of visits to care homes will ultimately be made by the care home providers themselves. These decisions should be made in line with advice from local directors of public health, who will be developing local ‘dynamic risk assessments’ based on the principles outlined in the government’s guidance.

Please be aware that whilst the ability to visit care homes is looking to increase, it is still being controlled based on these risk assessments and is subject to the specific circumstances of the care home and those living and working within it. This is likely to mean that the frequency of visits will be limited and/or controlled for some time.

What advice should I expect?

Advice for residents and families should be set out in the visiting policy of the care home and shared with you.

This advice should include:

  • support on how to prepare for a visit and given tips on how to communicate if face coverings are required, for example:
    – speaking loudly and clearly
    – keeping eye contact
    – not wearing hats or anything else that might conceal their face further
    – wearing clothing or their hair in a way that a resident would more likely recognise
  • reassurance, including the fact that some people with dementia might struggle at first to remember or recognise you.
    Care home staff should try and prepare your loved one for a visit, perhaps by looking at photographs of the person who is due to visit and talking to them about their relationship.

Go to full guidance

For the most up to date guidance, including information of what should be included in your care home’s visiting policy, visit the Gov.uk website.