We welcome the decision that care home residents will be able to be visited indoors by a single, named individual from 8th March as part of the Prime Minister’s roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions. However, we know this can’t fix what has been a difficult and isolating year for care home residents and the family members and friends who care for them. We’re in this together and are still working hard to support family dementia carers. People affected by dementia must be fully supported as they recover from the pandemic.
Family carer David Dry, whose wife is living in a care home, shares his reaction to the news that care home residents will be allowed one regular indoor visitor from 8th March.
I think family carers are still in a very difficult situation. In my case, I have four grown-up daughters who miss their mother terribly. How do we decide who gets to visit? Although they all say it should be me, my wife is shrinking away — she’s not walking or talking anymore — I don’t want them to miss out on anything else.
Her care now is about her wellbeing, and if I can hold her hand and make her feel good in the moment, that’s what matters. She won’t remember that I have visited after I leave, and it will take her a while to recognise me.
I don’t think the cost of this past year’s isolation has been worth it. She’s dying very slowly and has lost even more in the time we’ve been apart. It’s taken its toll on her and has had a massive impact on us as a family.
My wife was particularly close to our youngest daughter, who is now 37, she’s having a baby on Tuesday and would love to see her mum. One of my other daughter’s had a baby last March, and my wife hasn’t met that grandchild yet. I try to be there for my daughters but it’s not the same.
We’re here to support family carers who care for a person with dementia, whether at home or in a care home. You can view our range of upcoming Live Online Learning sessions here and access resources and support from health and care professionals in our Virtual Carers Centre.