Care home residents reunited with loved ones as lockdown restrictions ease

Peter and Ann celebrating Ann's birthday in a Bupa Care Home in St Albans

St Albans care home resident Ann was able to have an indoor birthday visit from her husband Peter - Credit: Bupa Care Homes

Long overdue, heart-warming reunions are now taking place in the district's care homes, as residents are now allowed to meet visitors indoors.

Under the latest guidance, residents at Allington Court and Tenterden House in St Albans, and Field House in Harpenden have been allowed to nominate one visitor, who will be tested before entering and provided with PPE.

This meant Peter Denyer was able to visit his wife, Ann, for her birthday this month: “Even though Ann and I have been communicating daily on our iPhones, it was with immense pleasure that we were able to hold hands and be at close proximity, rather than communicating via electronic devices.”

Operations manager Rebecca Pearson echoed Peter's comments: “We understand how important time with loved ones is for our residents’ happiness and wellbeing, so we’re delighted to restart these visits."

While previous guidance prevented face-to-face visits, the homes worked hard keep families connected during the pandemic, and supported window visits, phone and video calls, and installed a visiting pod fitted with screens.

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Another reunited couple are Ken and Fay Coad. Ken visited Fay at Allington Court on her birthday, where he presented her a card he had made using a photo from her 50th birthday.

Ken Coad visited his wife Fay at Allington Court on her birthday

Ken Coad visited his wife Fay at Allington Court on her birthday, where he presented her a card he had made using a photo from her 50th birthday - Credit: Allington Court

Ken said: "It was so lovely to be able to bring the card and give it to my wife in person. It has been so long since we have been this close and I am very happy to be with her again."

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Kennedy Leslie also welcomed a visit from his wife Wendy under the new rules.

Wendy said: "I was totally overwhelmed to be able to come to the home for the first time to visit my husband in person.

Kennedy Leslie welcomed a visit from his wife Wendy under the latest care home rules

Kennedy Leslie welcomed a visit from his wife Wendy under the latest care home rules - Credit: Allington Court

"When Kennedy first moved to Allington Court I was not able visit due to COVID-19. But after visiting the home and seeing how well my husband is looking, it makes me feel reassured that he is being well looked after and that we made the right decision to bring him to Allington Court.

"I want to thank all the staff for the great work they are doing."

Rebecca added: "Our teams have worked so hard, and I’m so proud of all our people who have been such heroes over the past year. They’ve shown professionalism, compassion and kindness and gone above and beyond to make residents smile.

“We know the past year has been difficult for families too, missing contact with loved ones as well as wanting us to keep them safe. Their support, trust and understanding has been hugely appreciated by us all.”

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