'It's wonderful to hold her hand' - care home visit joy for Helen, 92

Helen Daly, aged 92,  a resident  at Glebe House Residential Care Home in Hollesley, with daughter Carol Crichton

Helen Daly, aged 92, a resident at Glebe House Residential Care Home in Hollesley, with daughter Carol Crichton on her first personal contact visit - Credit: Gregg Brown

A mum living in a care home has told how much it means to hold her daughter's hand  -  with government rules on visits set to ease further from April 12.

Helen Daly, aged 92,  a resident  at Glebe House Residential Care Home in Hollesley, is enjoying close-up weekly visits from daughter Carol Crichton.

She said: “How things have changed! It’s wonderful to sit and hold her hand.

Helen and Carol hold hands for the first time in 12 months

Helen and Carol hold hands for the first time in 12 months - Credit: Gregg Brown

"We sat and chatted and talked about the old times. It was lovely.

“Before, when Carol was able to visit, we were blocked by the screen, so I love being able to sit next to her.”

Carol said: “Mum was over the moon on my first visit. She held tightly onto my hand for the whole visit, it’s a great comfort to her.

Julie Frost took along her dog, Cooper, to visit her dad David, 81, at Woodbridge Lodge care home.

Julie Frost took along her dog, Cooper, to visit her dad David, 81, at Woodbridge Lodge care home. - Credit: Kingsley Healthcare

"Mum likes routine, so I visit every Thursday now. The staff tell me she keeps asking ‘is it Thursday yet?’"

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Carol added: “All of the staff have been amazing. I can’t praise them enough for all they do to keep Mum safe and happy."

Trish Middleton, manager at family-run Glebe House, said: “The personal contact visits are hugely beneficial to our residents’ health and wellbeing. They mean the world to them.”

Government rules are set to change from Monday, April 12 to allow residents a second regular visitor. Actress Ruthie Henshall, who is campaigning over care home visits  has welcomed the news- but warned many families still face a "postcode lottery" over visits. 

Carol Crichton visiting mum Helen Daly for a window visit at Glebe House in Hollesley in August 2020

Carol Crichton visiting mum Helen Daly for a window visit at Glebe House in Hollesley in August 2020 - Credit: Gregg Brown

Babies and toddlers will be able to accompany visitors under the new rule change, meaning some residents will be able to meet grandchildren for the first time.

Rules were previously eased on March 8, to allow residents to receive indoor visits from one nominated friend or relative, with Covid-19 safety requirements including PPE and lateral flow tests.

Julie Frost told how she was finally able to visit her father David, 81, at Woodbridge Lodge Care Home, in Woodbridge, which is run by Kingsley Healthcare.

For her first close-up visit in over 12 months, she brought along her dog Cooper.

She said: “Fortunately Dad has a ground floor room so I have been able to have a chat with him through the window once a week.

Helen Daly during a socially distanced garden visit at Glebe House

Helen Daly during a socially distanced garden visit at Glebe House - Credit: Gregg Brown

“Staff have been brilliant at arranging video calls. However, that’s not the same as a proper visit. I knew Dad was so much looking forward to seeing Cooper.”

Home manager Jill Harris said: “We are so pleased to be getting back to more normal visits. It means residents have really got something to look forward to again.”

The home will allow families to book a picnic in the garden once warmer weather arrives, as well as organising barbecues.


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