Care home enables loved ones to reunite in virus-proof room
PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 July 2020
Care home residents are being reunited with their loved ones after weeks apart in Nailsea, thanks to a Covid-19 proof visitors’ room.
Argentum Lodge Care Home, in Silver Street, opened its innovative new area this week to enable residents to see their spouses, children, grandchildren, friends and pets after spending weeks apart during lockdown.
The room is divided by an airtight glass partition so families can see each other without worrying about passing on infections or staying two metres away.
Since the pandemic, residents have only been able to see their loved ones virtually, or through window visits.
Families have already started booking up the room, including Diane Stoddart who wants to see her husband for their 64th wedding anniversary, and two daughters who are keen to celebrate their mum’s 90th birthday.
Home manager Alison Wingrove said: “It is a delight to see the interactions and events which are now taking place in this room, which could not have occurred before.
“The new room allows our residents to properly see and speak to their loved ones for the first time in months.
“The schedule of visits is already packed and every day we are seeing incredibly emotional and heart-warming scenes of loved ones being reunited in this safe setting.
“The rooms are already getting plenty of use, face-to-face contact is so beneficial for our residents and their visitors during these challenging times.”
Staff have ensured visits are as normal as possible during these extraordinary times, with semi-circlular coffee tables on both sides of the glass to help people feel as though they are sitting around the same table.
The room was created by converting an existing bedroom, and it also has a dedicated external entrance, so visitors do not enter the home itself.
Welford Healthcare, which runs the care home, partnered with Contacta Systems Ltd who designed and installed a contactless communication system for residents.
The care home operator hopes the pioneering method will be adopted by other homes to tackle loneliness and enable families to reunite with loved ones during the pandemic.
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