Care homes and coronavirus – maintaining contact with loved ones

Published: Wednesday 25th March 2020

We are reassuring the residents in our care and nursing homes and their families that there are lots of ways to keep in touch while we strongly discourage visits in person due to coronavirus.

We are following the latest Public Health England guidance on coronavirus and Prime Minister Boris Johnson in strongly advising that nobody should visit our care homes unnecessarily.

However, as the physical and emotional well-being of our residents is our primary concern, we are determined to offer different ways for families and friends to keep in contact with residents.

Keeping in touch during coronavirus - Foylebank Care Home in Derby
Keeping in touch during coronavirus at Foylebank Care Home in Derby

Tim Buckley, Chief Operating Officer of Agincare Homes Holdings, said:

“We care for some of our communities’ most vulnerable people, so we are following the very latest coronavirus guidance. However, we know how vital regular contact is for our residents and their families and we strongly support John’s Campaign, pledging to welcome, support and involve family carers. Our care home managers will work in everyone’s interests during this unprecedented time and address specific needs relating to people’s personal circumstances. We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and update our position as and when necessary.

Messages and photographs

Care home resident video-conferencing with iPad
One of our residents video-conferencing with family on an iPad

“We have different ways for family carers and friends to be in touch with their loved ones. Each of our care and nursing homes already has an iPad or tablet for residents to use. Staff are encouraging more families to use Skype, video conferencing or Face Time to maintain as much ‘face-to-face’ contact as possible, or to record messages that we can play to their loved ones. We’d also love family members to send in photographs, letters and notes that we can admire and talk about. This is especially important for our residents living with dementia.

Care home resident video-conferencing with smartphone
One of our residents keeping in touch with family

Keep up-to-date with our care homes on Facebook

“All our homes are also using their Facebook pages to keep friends and families updated, such as the post below showing Naseby Care Home in Christchurch being creative in providing entertainment to their residents whilst also keeping them safe.

“Anyone not on social media will still be able to see each home’s latest news on a feed on our website.

Pen pals – the write stuff for our care home residents

“Instead of people coming into our homes to lead activities, such as our popular musical entertainers, our teams will be devising lots of ways to keep residents engaged and entertained. One of our ideas to combat potential isolation is to encourage members of the public to become a pen pal with a care home resident.

“It would really brighten a resident’s day to get a colourful postcard, giving them something to talk about and share with fellow residents – if you would like to get involved please complete the form at www.agincare.com/penpal – we’d love to hear from you!”

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