Sunderland care home launches 'drive-through' visits so families can see each other for the first time in lockdown
Marigold Nursing Home on Leechmere Road has created a system to enable loved ones to see their residents in person whilst following the social distancing guidelines.
The home has created a barrier set four metres away from the home’s ground floor lounge, so that residents can sit by the doorway whilst their relatives are behind the barrier, either in their car or standing.
It means that from residents will be able to speak face-to-face with their loved ones for the first time since lockdown began.
When the coronavirus pandemic started care homes across the country closed their doors and stopped visits in a bid to prevent the spread of the disease.
In the months that followed, staff have been working hard to keep residents in contact with relatives through the likes of video calls and have kept them occupied with activities in the home.
But Marigold Nursing Home manager, Bijumon Joseph, knows how much residents have missed seeing loved ones in person.
He said: “We have all managed really well since lockdown began.
“Staff have had to do everything differently in order to follow Government guidance.
“In lockdown we have been doing calls between residents and their family members to keep the connection going all the time.
“Families have seen their relatives through the windows, but not seen them directly, so we thought we would do drive-through visits from Thursday.”
Visitors can contact the home in advance to book a slot for 15 minute to 30 minute visits with the residents, which are all conducted from a four-metre distance.
Safety information posters have been put onto the barrier separating relatives to ensure everyone follows the guidelines.
Mr Joseph continued: “I think people will get much more comfort from the drive-through visits.
“It will be nice for the families who will be able to see each other directly and know that they are doing OK.
“The families we have spoken to are over the moon and are so excited, while some families have been in tears.
“The residents are also over the moon.”