Residents at the Connaught Court and Harry Priestley House care homes have been reunited with their families in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
The homes, run by the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution Care Company in York and Thorne respectively, opened their doors to family visits following new guidance from the government, which allows each care home resident to receive visits from one family member or loved one.
One of the first residents in Connaught Court to be reunited with his wife in person was John Richardson. John was extremely happy to see his wife Judy and to be able to hold hands again.
Judy said: “I have missed my husband so much. It’s been an emotional experience being next to him in the same room and to hold his hand today. Staff at the Home have done a wonderful job in supporting John to stay happy and healthy but it is such a special feeling to be with him again finally.”
One of the first residents in Harry Priestley House to be reunited with her mum in person was Laura Turner.
Laura was extremely happy to see her mum again and they even got the chance to do a mini Easter egg hunt in the lounge together. Mum Lesley said: “It’s so lovely to be back in the Home as it has actually been a whole year since I last visited inside. I am so happy to be able to hold my daughter’s hand again and looking forward to being able to give her a hug in the near future.”
To ensure the health and safety of residents and staff at the care home, each visitor must undertake a lateral flow test before entering the Home and receive a negative result for Covid-19, before meeting their loved one in person. They must also wear suitable personal protective equipment, which includes gloves, apron and a mask.
Both homes closed their doors to all but essential visitors before the first national lockdown last year to protect residents and staff. Families have still been able to visit using the Home’s Covid-secure visitor pod, which opened last summer.
Connaught Court Home Manager Victoria Wilson said: “Staff have worked tirelessly to ensure residents have had regular contact with their families by phone or video calls. However, this is the first time residents have been able to meet in the same room as their loved one without a physical partition.
“We have been waiting for this moment for such a long time and are overjoyed to be able to reunite our residents safely with their loved ones in person. Throughout the pandemic, our staff have gone above and beyond to support our residents to stay connected with their loved ones, which is vital for their wellbeing.
“We are so pleased to be moving in the right direction and are looking forward to opening our Home up to more visitors and larger gatherings when it is safe to do so.”
The RMBI Care Co., is part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Both the homes in this post are currently able to safely welcome new residents. For more information, please visit: http://www.rmbi.org.uk/