Response to First Minister’s announcement on care home visits
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:
“I welcome the announcement from the First Minister that the Welsh Government will now be examining ways to enable more visits to care homes so that older people can be reunited with their loved ones.
“The past 12 months has been a particularly distressing time for older people living in care homes, and their families and friends, many of whom have been separated from their loved ones for prolonged periods. Many residents have experienced a significant deterioration in their mental and physical health during this time, and sadly many have died.
“I have been calling for action to enable safe visits to care homes to be a priority for Wales, so today’s announcement is a positive step in the right direction and will provide hope to the many thousands of older people and their loved ones who have been apart for so long.
“The Welsh Government must now work with key stakeholders to develop and publish a detailed route-map for how and when visiting will be able to happen more widely, in order to give care homes, as well as older people and their loved ones, time to plan and prepare. This should include details of the support that will be provided to the care home sector, managers and staff, and residents and their loved ones to allow safe visits to take place throughout Wales.
“I will continue to work constructively with the Welsh Government and other key public bodies on this issue – with a particular focus on ensuring that older people’s voices, concerns and wishes are heard and acted upon – and will be scrutinising their plans to ensure that the action proposed will enable safe visits between care home residents and their loved ones to begin again as soon as possible.”