A care home worker from Leeds has welcomed government changes allowing residents to hold hands with family members as, ‘long overdue’.
From March 8th, some care homes will be making the next step to allow hand holding between the residents and their visiting family members.
Malynda Mcintosh, who works at Barchester Care Home in Leeds, spoke about why it is important for the government to allow hand holding between residents and their visitors again.
She also recalled how difficult it was to get to work by bus during the pandemic, and was sometimes refused transport because she was not provided with any written proof of being a key worker.
Malynda, 25, said: “It’s long overdue actually, it’s a really good idea because the care home residents are really lonely, some of them passed away thinking that they don’t have any families and it’s very sad and heart-breaking.”
Mcintosh also said: “The residents get really lonely, and their mental health is slowly declining, so bringing in their families and more visitors will be good for them.”
Allowing hand-holding in care homes is part of Boris Johnson’s roadmap to take the country out of the national lockdown, and slowly easing lockdown restrictions.
All visitors must test negative for coronavirus before entry, and personal protective equipment (PPE) must always be worn.
The visitors will be required to take a coronavirus lateral flow test, this is to give fast and accurate results before entry.
Visitors are not permitted to kiss or hug the residents in order to avoid further possible spread of the virus.
Care home residents will only be allowed to choose one member of their family, or one visitor to visit them regularly.
Visits are still going to be held outdoors, or in COVID-secure rooms, behind screens.
Visitors who are visiting residents must socially distance themselves and avoid mingling with one another.
The updated government guidelines for care homes is expected to be published on GOV.co.uk in a week.
According to carehome.co.uk, 95% of care homes in England have had all their residents vaccinated.
This is part of the national health service’s plans to stop those who are the most vulnerable to the virus from losing their lives, and still get to hold their loved ones again.