By Charlie Loran • 23 September 2020 • 16:12
COVID-19 restrictions on care homes could leave the elderly without visits from their family for a year.
Age UK has expressed its concerns about the powers given to local health bosses to impose blanket bans on visits, the move aimed to prevent Britain’s most vulnerable residents catching the coronavirus could leave them unable to receive visits from friends and family.
Although virus control is important, a lack of social contact with loved ones can be of serious detriment to the elderly.
The charity warned a number of care home residents have already died prematurely because they ‘have gone downhill fast’ as a result of being cut off from social contact with loved ones. Experts have previously warned isolation can lead to the deterioration of conditions such as dementia.
Age UK’s warning came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restrictions in England in response to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases.
In his statement, Boris Johnson said if the situation does not improve, the measures could last for more than six months taking us up to March — a year after the initial lockdown when care homes first shut their doors.
Most care homes in the UK were given the green light to open again in the summer after the virus hit its peak, since then infection rates have started to climb again.
Many care homes are now not taking any chances in allowing the virus to wreak havoc as it did in March and April, and have reintroduced visiting bans to the upset of families, and now the elderly could be left without visits for a year.
Here in Spain, urgent measures are also needed to help protect the elderly in care homes as figures rise and the second wave starts to hit cities and towns across the country. It is estimated that between April and June 2020 69 per cent of the people who died from COVID-19 where elderly people in nursing homes and care centres. In areas of Madrid where heavier restrictions have been put in place, the elderly could be left without visits once more.
The residences and their workers lacked resources, training and support for medical care and there was not an immediate or adequate response orientated to save lives. With a lack of visitation from family members, some elderly residents illness’s went un-noticed.
The lack of training for staff in the use of PPE was one of the major flaws, aggravated by the fact it arrived late, was insufficient and in quite a few cases was not always adapted to the specific needs of the residences and its residents.
Family visits and farewells should absolutely be allowed. With appropriate protective measures, there is no need for the elderly to suffer as they did in the last lockdown. If we are able to send children to school and able to go for dinner in restaurants then ensuring not only the physical but mental health of our elderly should be prioritised. The elderly can not be left without visits.
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Manchester born mummy with a two year old diva (2020), living on the Costa del Sol for just short of a decade.
Former chef and restaurateur, holistic health fanatic and lover of long words.
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