3 February 2021:
The Relatives & Residents Association welcomes the call by Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights for immediate action to reconnect care home residents with their family/friends. It follows R&RA’s evidence to the Committee calling for this move, in line with our campaign to end isolation in care.
The Committee have drafted a new law which would require care homes to carry out individual risk assessments on facilitating contact with people of significance to the resident. This would be a clear and strong direction from Parliament that facilitating meaningful contact with family/friends is fundamental to providing good care, during the pandemic and beyond. Individual assessments are not an optional extra, they are essential to protecting residents’ rights. This change would support care providers to meet their duties under the Human Rights Act and help to end the human rights crisis in care.
When R&RA was invited to give evidence to the Committee on the right to family life in care homes, we outlined the devastating impact lack of visits was having on older people. Relationships have been torn apart, memories of family are disappearing, people feel abandoned. The impact on well-being has been profound. Our helpline hears of people giving up on life, and of too many people dying without the love and support of their family/friends.
We urge the Government to take forward the new law to safely reconnect families, before it is too late for too many more older people.