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Care home visit rules relax ‘too little, too late’

Care home visit rules relax ‘too little, too late’

By Michael Fitzpatrick

2 days ago

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  • Coronavirus pandemic
source of images, Tina Girvan

A woman whose father is in a care home described the easing of visitation restrictions as “too little, too late”.

Earlier, the Ministry of Health announced that there will no longer be a restriction on the number of people who can visit but visits remain limited to two households per day.

Overnight stays will also be facilitated for residents of nursing homes.

Tina Girvan, whose father Joe is in a County Armagh care home, said the change does not go far enough.

“It doesn’t change anything for outbreaks,” she said.

“Care homes are going in and out of outbreaks, some of them in ongoing outbreaks, which means they’ve been in an ongoing outbreak for weeks.

Care home visit rules relax ‘too little, too late’

Tina welcomed the move but said it hasn’t changed much for her father Joe

“Some nursing homes at the time, like my dad’s nursing home, were in outbreak, went out for a day, and we are in outbreak again.

“So it doesn’t change anything in that regard. »

  • What are Northern Ireland’s rules on Covid-19?

However, Mark King, owner of a care home in County Down, said he welcomed the further relaxation of visiting restrictions.

He said maintaining the visitation restriction during a Covid outbreak is a sensible measure.

Care home visit rules relax ‘too little, too late’

Mark King says care home owners must protect the vulnerable

“Covid is still here, we are still dealing with vulnerable people, who are by their very nature vulnerable,” he said.

“So in this particular house we have three units and two of them are currently closed to visitors simply because we have Covid either in residents or in staff.

“I think the families, after two years, understand the difficulties, appreciate them and work on them. »

Meanwhile, NI Senior Citizens Commissioner Eddie Lynch said Thursday’s changes marked a “huge step towards normalcy”.

Care home visit rules relax ‘too little, too late’

Eddie Lynch said the changes were an improvement for many residents

He said that not only will the quantity of visits be increased, but their quality will be improved.

“It now allows brief hugs, it allows people to arrange overnight stays, it makes it easier for people to be taken on day trips from care homes,” he said.

“So I think it will improve the quality of life for many people across Northern Ireland. »

It has also been confirmed that the care partner program will be extended to hospitals and hospices.

The Care Partnership Initiative, which was introduced in late 2020, allows a parent or designated caregiver to provide additional support to a resident.

Care home visit rules relax ‘too little, too late’

‘It’s good news’

Care home visit rules relax ‘too little, too late’

We are witnessing an opening of healthcare structures.

This is good news – not just for residents and people inside hospitals and hospices – but especially for their families.

Remember those pictures of people looking inside the windows of nursing homes? For many, that was only a year ago.

We all know someone who had to make that tough decision where only certain family members were allowed in.

This sector has been among the most affected by the pandemic with very difficult choices for families.

Care home visit rules relax ‘too little, too late’

Related Topics

  • Nursing homes
  • Coronavirus pandemic

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