Monday was a very special day for visitors to Lavender Fields care home in Seal, Sevenoaks. It was the day when, after months in lockdown, family members could visit their loved ones at the care home. What made this day extra special for female residents was that it coincided with International Women’s Day.
Following the government announcement that care home residents in England will be allowed to receive close contact indoor visits from one person from 8 March, families could not wait to see their loved ones and booked their visits early.
Although visits via protective screens were allowed in the past few months, all face-to-face visits in care homes were banned by the government since the first national lockdown began in March last year. Such restrictions were difficult for residents, especially those living with dementia, and their families who wanted to experience closeness that protective screens or partition doors did not allow.
Relatives and their loved ones shared much joy and happy tears on being able to see each other in person. Karen Archibald, who visited her mum Liz, said: “It’s so nice to finally get to hold mum’s hand. I’m looking forward to regular visits with mum.”
Karen Cooper, Home Manager at Lavender Fields, said: “It is wonderful to see the joy on residents’ faces today as we open up Lavender Fields for close contact visits. Touch is something we all look forward to, so to be able to hold hands with a loved one is such a small step but means so much. Close contact with a family member will ensure that our residents’ wellbeing is maintained.”