The challenge is to prevent now and in the future, thousands of Care Home Residents from dying each and every week during a pandemic, not from the pandemic its self, but from a pandemic of loneliness, isolation and despair, simply giving up on living and life itself. The challenge is to remove the responsibility from Care Home providers to decide on visiting policies, as they have demonstrated during the current crisis that they are are frozen by the fear of the pandemic, whilst ignoring all other risks to their residents.
During the current pandemic residents have been cut off from their family carers and denied the support and stimulation they so desperately need. On top of that, many have and are experiencing the added trauma of being isolated in their rooms for long periods of time. Residents are being treated like animals in a zoo, to be “viewed” through closed windows, or pods with floor to ceiling screens.
The risks of isolation to the mental health of vulnerable people living in the community has been acknowledged by the Government and they have been allowed to form a social bubble. Care home residents are the only group in society denied this support and it‚’s shocking that their human right to a family life and human contact has been so flagrantly disregarded.
The challenge is to find a more humane solution that balances the risk of contracting illness during a pandemic, against the devastating mental and physical deterioration we have witnessed, as people in Care Homes remain forcibly locked away for months on end, with no contact with their Husbands, Wives, Daughters, Sons, Mothers or Fathers etc. leading to thousands of unnecessary premature deaths.