Today (Tuesday 13 October), at the first session of the ‘Coronavirus: lessons learnt’ inquiry, Minister for Care Helen Whately announced a key worker pilot scheme for those with family members in care homes.
Kate Lee, Chief Executive Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
“Care home visitor restrictions, while intending to prevent the spread of coronavirus, have sadly had cruel and tragic consequences. We’ve heard daily about the grief and despair of families via our Dementia Connect support line.
“People’s loved ones with dementia have felt bewildered, abandoned and in many tragic cases, faded away from the lack of personalised care, understanding and love that only family members can bring. That’s why we’re delighted that the Government has listened to Alzheimer’s Society and other dementia charities, and announced a pilot scheme granting family carers key worker status. But ‘soon’ isn’t enough for people losing their partners, mums, dads and grandparents – we need the ‘when’ and the ‘where’, plus plans for national rollout. Time is of the essence.
“Keeping coronavirus out of care homes has to remain an absolute priority, so these key family carers must get the regular testing and PPE they need to visit safely. This will give people with dementia better care and quite simply enjoyment of life that’s an essential right, while keeping them safe during the winter.”