UK senior citizens living in care homes are now allowed to go for walks outside or visit their family’s garden without needing to quarantine for two weeks on return.
However, seniors will still have to take that walk outside with a nominated visitor or care worker, cannot meet in groups, and abide by social distancing rules.
Once on their walks, they must remain outside until they return to the care home, meaning that they are only permitted to go inside buildings to use the toilet or to vote in upcoming local elections. Going inside a private residence is also prohibited, according to the Department of Health and Social Care’s press release.
Sky News reported on Tuesday that other restrictions remain in place, including that those returning to care homes following overnight visits will still have to quarantine for two weeks, as well as those attending medical appointments.
The news outlet said that residents would only be allowed to eat outside at a restaurant with a carer or nominated visitor if cleared beforehand with the care home.
To date, some 95 per cent of care home residents have had the first dose of the vaccine, with 71 per cent being fully vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus with two doses.
The small concessions came after pressure from groups over seniors’ confinement in care homes during the pandemic, with restrictions placed on family members having face-to-face visits with their loved ones in care homes, with many forced to see their relatives through windows.
Another story has revealed the human cost of lockdown as video footage revealed the moment a great-great-grandmother with dementia living in a care home was told she couldn’t hug her daughter. https://t.co/dyBF6Z8K0z
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 7, 2020
Many seniors also publicly complained of being deprived of the company of their loved ones in their advancing years. In distressing footage shared on social media in October, 104-year-old Scottish woman Mary Fowler begged to see her family, fearing that “time’s getting on for me”.
“I must see my children and make things like they used to be. Please help me, help me. Please, please help,” Mrs Fowler pleaded. It was her second cry for help, after posting a similar message where she said she felt like she was in a “prison”.
The following month, police detained a retired nurse, Ylenia Angeli, 73, in Yorkshire for breaking her 97-year-old mother with dementia, Tina Thornborough, out of a care home because she and her daughter had not seen her in nine months because of the coronavirus. The care home agreed a month later that Mrs Thornborough could leave and be cared for at home.
Further controversy has surrounded the care of the elderly during the lockdown, after the UK’s care watchdog, the Care and Quality Commission (CQC), launched an investigation into whether doctors were forcing do-no-resuscitate orders on care home residents without theirs or their next-of-kin’s consent during the first wave of coronavirus.
Britain’s socialized healthcare system has reportedly been issuing do not resuscitate orders for people with learning disabilities during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic. https://t.co/EFuZrsEg6T
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 14, 2021