Welcoming relatives again for in-home visits

Balhousie Care Group has issued the following communication to relatives about opening our doors again for in-home visits.

Thank you so much on behalf of the entire Balhousie Care team for your support and patience over the last 12 months, and for your continued cooperation during our lockdown period. We wanted to write to communicate our plans for resuming in-home visits from 4 March 2021. The Home Manager will contact you to provide you with the opening date specific to the home where your loved one is living. We’re delighted to be taking this important step after what’s been a long wait for everyone.

Protecting your loved one and our staff is our top priority, and that’s especially true of us opening our doors once more. As with every step we have made in navigating the Coronavirus pandemic, there will be phased approach to our in-home visits. Here are our initial guidelines, which will change as transmission risks reduce:

  • We ask that you provide one nominated visitor per resident per week for 30 minutes.
  • We will continue to offer garden visits of one person per resident. Please note that you can choose EITHER a garden visit OR an in-home visit.
  • All visits should be booked online in advance through our secure booking system or by calling the care home directly so that we can safely manage the number of visitors on-site.
  • Just as our care homes have individual care plans for each resident, we will also have a visitation plan for each resident, with visiting times and lengths of visits recommended according to each individual’s habits and needs.

On arrival you will be guided by our staff team through our thorough infection prevention and control measures. We ask that you arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled visit to allow for staff to perform a Lateral Flow Device test (LFD) which involves a nasal and throat swab. The results of this will be available within 30 minutes, and in that time you can fill in the necessary visitation paperwork. Please note that the visit will take place not in residents’ rooms but a designated area of the home. The following procedure must be adhered to at all times and includes:

  1. Receiving a rapid response Lateral Flow Device test and return a negative result;
  2. Having your temperature checked with a result of <37.8 degrees centigrade;
  3. Wearing a mask and gown, which will be provided, and signing a consent form;
  4. Sitting two metres apart from your loved one. We ask you to refrain from physical contact.

Meeting up with someone after a long period of time can be fairly delicate for anyone, and for our residents and relatives it can get cause high emotion, confusion and anxiety. Please know that our care home staff are there to talk through any concerns you may have.

We have put together a video with some tips to help on your visit. These resources can be found our Balhousie Care Group YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SoSuCBQs2M or on our website at https://balhousiecare.co.uk/tips-on-visiting-your-loved…/

We will regularly review our visitation protocols giving due consideration to community transmission data, Scottish Government Guidelines and any local outbreak information.

We are excited to be taking this next important step and recognise the importance of this for the wellbeing of both our residents and you as family members/friends.

Yours sincerely,

Sheilah Harvey

Head of Operations