‘Harmful isolation!’ say campaigners, who want the ban on visitors to care homes lifted.
A COALITION OF CARE ACTIVISTS has called for an end to “harmful isolation practices” that deny the elderly basic visiting rights.
The Covid crisis has lasted almost two years, and tens of thousands of people in care homes are still locked up and alone.
The Relatives and Residents Association charity, as well as the pressure group Rights for Residents, have written to health and care leaders pleading with them to put an end to the scandal.
A number of other organizations representing care providers and users have also signed the joint letter, which emphasizes the “severe, detrimental impact” of isolation from family and friends.
The letter encourages caregivers to uphold their legal obligations by ensuring that human contact restrictions are “proportionate.”
“Our helpline hears about the devastating impact isolation is having on people living in care on a daily basis,” Helen Wildbore, of the Relatives and Residents Association, said.
Lifelong bonds have been broken, relationships have been harmed, and dementia patients believe they have been abandoned.
“Time is valuable to older people who are nearing the end of their lives.
They don’t want to just exist; they want to live.
Local governments, public health teams, and care providers must collaborate with residents and their families to protect rights before it is too late for too many more.”
The Daily Express was the first to report on a postcode lottery in which some care homes are open and others are closed.
In September, Ruthie Henshall, a West End actress, led the Rights for Residents campaign, which delivered a petition to Downing Street with 250,000 signatures demanding “Gloria’s Law.”
It was named after Ruthie’s mother, who died at the age of 87 in a care facility during the lockdown.
Residents should have a legal right to an essential caregiver, according to campaigners, but ministers have only suggested it as best practice so far, rather than making it legally binding.
According to a survey of Rights for Residents members, nearly a quarter had been denied ECG status.
ECGs are members of the family who have a special bond with their loved ones. Currently, their access is not legally guaranteed and is still dependent on providers.
“Removing this essential source of support is increasing pressure on exhausted care staff, at a time when staff shortages and sickness levels are at an all-time high,” Jenny Morrison, co-founder of Rights for Residents, said.
“News from the Brinkwire.”