As the rest of the country enjoys the gradual easing of lockdown, older people in care have been left behind by the Government once again. Guidance by the Department of Health and Social Care imposes a blanket two week quarantine after each visit out of the care home. This is preventing residents from getting out to reconnect with relatives and friends or simply to enjoy the spring like the rest of the country. It is even stopping some older people from going to health appointments as it is not clear what kind of visits out would be exempt.
Older people living in care have been at the sharp end of coronavirus restrictions and have endured over a year of rules keeping them separated from family and friends. Guidance created a double isolation, of relatives/friends being unable to go into the home and residents being unable to leave. Our helpline hears of the devastating impact this is having on mental and physical health.
Imposing a blanket quarantine on visits out is arbitrary, unfair and interferes with resident’s right to liberty (protected by Article 5 of the Human Rights Act). The guidance is facing a legal challenge by campaign group John’s Campaign, supported by R&RA. We have already seen these restrictions leading to desperate scenes of families ‘rescuing’ their relatives from care homes and many more families considering a move out of care.
We urge the Government to lift the blanket 14 day quarantine. Guidance should also be amended to make it clear that health appointments should always be facilitated and supported. With the average stay in a care home just two years, older people should be supported to have a good quality of life and enjoy the time they have left.
Help us to push for these changes. Tell the Department of Health and Social Care why you think the blanket two week quarantine should be dropped via Twitter, Facebook or online. This quick 3 minute action will send a clear message to the Government that we need to respect the rights of older people living in care. Some suggested tweets are below:
If you would like some advice or support on how the visiting out guidance affects your family, please get in touch with our helpline.