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DEMENTIA UK CALLS FOR REVISION ON CARE HOME VISITING GUIDELINES

Dementia UK Comment on Care Home Visits

Following the release of new government guidelines on care home visits during the second lockdown in England, charity Dementia UK is urging the government to adapt the advice to consider the needs of residents living with dementia and their families. 

The new suggestions for COVID-safe visiting procedures, announced yesterday 4th November, include ‘visiting pods’ and safety screens, visiting in cars, and extra support for virtual meetings.

Speaking about the changed guidance for care homes at this time, Paul Edwards, Director of Clinical Services at Dementia UK, said:

“The new guidance for allowing visitors to friends and family in care homes falls very far short of what we, and families, have been calling for. Suggesting that people communicate through phones and full-length screens is not only impractical for many care homes but fails to consider the particular needs and challenges faced by people with dementia. 

“Many families have seen their loved ones rapidly deteriorate over the course of the pandemic - and others have not been able to visit or speak with their relatives at all. Families need to be given guidance on ways to visit their relatives, or to receive continuous updates on their relatives and the steps being taken until such time as those visits can be put in place.

“Families visiting care homes do more than just visit; they provide care and respite for their relatives. They need to be able to go inside and touch their relatives, if possible, to provide reassurance, mental stimulation and affection. People with dementia can deteriorate significantly if not. We are calling on the Government to revise these guidelines, providing tests for staff, residents and families as a priority. Families have waited far too long for this to happen and, in a condition as progressive as dementia, they do not have time to wait.”

www.dementiauk.org

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