Coronavirus: keeping in touch with loved ones

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Posted on13 Mar 2020

We’ve had to close our care sites to all visitors including family members, friends, and volunteers - but it’s incredibly important for our residents to keep in touch with their families.

That's why we’re helping residents use technology such as FaceTime and Skype, but for some people with dementia this can be confusing, and a telephone call can be just as valuable. And don't forget the more traditional post; we encourage families to send postcards, pictures, and short frequent messages. You can also send care packages with loving messages and a favourite snack, magazine, and so on; these don’t need to be big or new items, small and meaningful things could give someone a real boost.

Also, have a look at these lovely ideas, put together by the charity Marie Curie, on supporting your loved one if you can’t visit them in person. We can help residents with all of these:

  • video calls,
  • telephone calls,
  • coordinating TV-viewing times with family so you can all share reactions in real-time.

We are setting up connection cafes at some of our sites so that you can share a cuppa with your loved ones at a distance. The connection café approach will not be suitable for everyone, as we appreciate some individuals live too far away or there may be additional barriers based on the needs of people living in the service. Our activities coordinators and managers are reviewing this on a individual resident basis.

Why can’t I visit as usual?

Our residents within our care sites are particularly vulnerable, and the health, safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff is our priority. We understand you may still want to visit despite the risk, but we strongly advise against it unless absolutely necessary - we don’t want to put you or others at risk.

We're happy to facilitate phone or video calls, just let us know what's best for you and we’ll help you and your loved one stay in touch. This is a great way for family members who may live some distance away, or overseas, to keep connected, so be sure to share this with any loved ones in this position. We appreciate your support with this.

When will I be able to visit again?

We’re monitoring the situation closely, and we’ll let you know when there are any updates. In the meantime, please be reassured that we’re following the latest advice from Public Health England to keep residents safe, and supporting our staff to continue to deliver high-quality care and keep essential services running.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact your loved-one’s care site directly.