Here's the ingenious way Harrogate care home is allowing visitors to meet their loved ones in a safe way

Two Harrogate care home specialising in dementia care have introduced remarkable new 'pods' to enable relatives to visit loved ones in a safe way during lockdown.

Friday, 13th November 2020, 3:44 pm

Vida Healthcare has installed three visiting pods in the grounds of its two care homes in Pannal and Starbeck to support safe visits during winter, a move already hailed as wonderful by families.

The new 'Together Again' visitor pods at even include a tactile vinyl wall to bring families as close together as humanly possible, while still meeting Government rules on stopping the spread of the virus.

Vida Grange care homes' new visitor pods in Harrogate include a tactile vinyl wall which brings loved ones together, safely, in this case, Michael and Patricia Boddington.

The groundbreaking system means up to four people including residents, family members, and carers, can use the pods while adhering to Covid guidelines.

Not being able to visit loved ones in cares homes has become a national talking point across the country during the pandemic, not only because of the heartache this causes but also the negative impact a prolonged period of not seeing relatives can have on the heath of people with dementia.

Bernadette Mossman, Healthcare Director at Vida Healthcare, commented: “Visiting relatives in care homes is a fundamental need for families and residents, and the pandemic has reduced our ability to be able to facilitate this much needed interaction.

“As recently announced by the government and High Court, care home residents can receive visitors during this second lockdown and at Vida we’re doing everything we can to create opportunities for visits.

"Our brand new ‘Together Again’ visiting pods are one example of innovations we’re implementing to ensure our residents can safely connect with their loved ones over the coming months.”

The Government recently announced that care home visits can take place and has issued guidance to encourage and support safe visiting opportunities.

Harrogate-based Vida Healthcare, whose Vida Grange care home received an ‘outstanding’ report in 2018 from the Care Quality Commission putting it in the top two per cent of care homes across the country, had the crucial festive period in mind, in particular, when taking the decision to introduce the new pods.

The move has already been welcomed by families who say being able to see loved ones at Christmas in a safe way is simply wonderful.

Anne Thompson, whose husband Michael has been a resident at Vida Hall since December 2015, said “The staff at Vida have been wonderful in allowing us to keep up with the daily lives of our loved ones, however it’s been stressful not being able to visit in person.

"Seeing our loved ones, particularly at Christmas, is really important to us and it’s comforting to know that you’ve set up these pods to give us safe opportunities to come and visit.”

Another family member said: “Words can’t describe how very grateful my family and I are to the incredible Vida Healthcare staff at this very difficult time. "I know they must be scared yet they still come and care for our loved ones."

Founded in 2010, Vida Healthcare was established to transform the provision of dementia care.

It offers specialist accommodation and full-time care for people living with dementia, and recently joined the top four per cent of adult social care services after securing Care Quality Commission Outstanding ratings for both its homes.

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