Residents at Royal Star & Garter’s three Homes have enjoyed emotional reunions with loved ones.
It was the first time they were able to meet face-to-face in three months, after visits to the Homes were stopped as part of the charity’s COVID-19 infection management protocol.
The meetings took place outside in the grounds of the Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe Homes, with social distancing strictly adhered to and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worn by all relatives and staff involved.
Visitors also had their temperatures taken on arrival and used hand sanitiser before meeting their relatives. The reunions lasted 30 minutes, and the area was cleaned with disinfectant wipes after each meeting.
There were also decorations to mark the special occasion, with bunting and ribbons adorning the outside of the Homes.
Among the visitors at Surbiton was Terrie, who met her mother Amy. Speaking afterwards, Terrie said:
“It was absolutely wonderful. I was so looking forward to seeing her. She looked so well. I cried! It’s just reassuring to see her in the flesh, and I wish I could have given her a big hug and a kiss but sadly not yet. But I’m looking forward to the day that I can do that. It was organised really well. Everybody felt safe and Royal Star & Garter has done a fantastic job.”
And Elaine said after visiting mum Flo:
“It’s the first time I’ve seen her since March 10, and it was lovely. I was convinced I wasn’t going to cry but of course I welled up. She looks great, it’s just been wonderful.”
One resident said:
“We’ve kept in touch through video calls, but it was special to finally meet my daughter after so many weeks. I have missed her terribly.”
During lockdown the charity has invested heavily in new technology, allowing residents and relatives to keep in touch via WhatsApp and Skype video calls.
Royal Star & Garter provides loving compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability of dementia.
The decision to allow visits to take place followed the government’s guidance on easing lockdown measures to permit people to meet outside in England.