Time for NPHET to look at visiting rules for nursing and care homes.
Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has written to NPHET urging them to relook at visiting in nursing and care homes at all levels of the 5 Level Framework for Public Health Restrictive Measures.
Sharon Foley, CEO of IHF says:
“The current restrictions of limiting visits to critical and compassionate grounds is having untold impact on a large portion of our most vulnerable people. Our work with nursing homes and residential care homes all over Ireland is revealing very distressed and difficult situations whereby families are deeply worried and saddened by lack of visits to their elderly loved relatives and those elderly relatives are also saddened and distressed at the lack of family contact. Ultimately it is having a negative impact on their quality of life as they have less social interaction than before.”
Restrictions on visiting nursing and care home facilities have been in place since March and while they eased somewhat over the summer when Level 3 restrictions were introduced all visiting was curtailed again.
“In the guidance on restrictions there is no difference between Level 3 and Level 5 as set out by the government”
Sharon Foley stated,
“This means that even if we go back to nationwide Level 3 over 25,000 of our most vulnerable citizens will still not be able to see their loved ones. Nursing and care homes are where people live, they are their homes and they need to be able to see their families and loved ones for at least a short while. We know from working with people in the facilities that there are many ideas and initiatives that can be put in place to enable safe and vital visiting. We’re now calling on NPHET to look at the restrictions across the different levels and in consultation with the sector, set out clear guidance for all levels.”