Elderly 'neglected and abandoned' campaigners warn

Care home residents ‘are still being betrayed’: Elderly remain ‘neglected and abandoned’ amid ‘collapsing’ social care system, campaigners warn

  • Hundreds of thousands of Britain’s most vulnerable are suffering due to ‘collapsing’ social care system two years into pandemic, campaigners have said
  •  Comes after tens of thousands of care staff lost their jobs last Thursday due to a law requiring them all to be double-jabbed, forcing some homes to close beds 
  • Residents’ suffering will intensify this winter as staff shortages hit care homes 

Elderly care residents remain ‘neglected, abandoned and betrayed’ nearly two years into the pandemic, campaigners have warned.

Hundreds of thousands of Britain’s most vulnerable are suffering due to the ‘collapsing’ social care system, while the rest of society embraces normality.

Many residents are ‘imprisoned’ in their rooms as care homes continue to impose draconian Covid visiting rules, which lawyers say breach their human rights.

Charities say residents’ suffering will intensify this winter as chronic staffing shortages mean carers can only do the ‘bare minimum’.

Tens of thousands of care staff lost their jobs last Thursday due to a law requiring them all to be double-jabbed – forcing some homes to close beds and refuse to take on new patients.

The Daily Mail campaigned for an end to visiting bans imposed on 400,000 residents during the pandemic, and formal restrictions were officially lifted in July. 

Many residents are ‘imprisoned’ in their rooms as care homes continue to impose draconian Covid visiting rules, which lawyers say breach their human rights.

But many homes have continued to restrict visits to pre-booked supervised 30 minutes slots, while rules also state they should lock down for two weeks if there are any Covid cases.

Diane Mayhew, from campaign group Rights for Residents, said ‘essential care givers’ must be given a legal right to visit in all circumstances.

She said: ‘The rest of society is back to normal, but people in care homes remain an afterthought. They have been neglected, abandoned and betrayed throughout this pandemic.’ 

Ruth Womack, 55, was forced to complete a criminal record check and five training courses including in fire safety and health and safety just to visit her mother’s bedroom in a care home in Sheffield. 

Her mother Helen Bownes, 76, has Lewy Body Dementia and has deteriorated dramatically since the pandemic began.

Martyn Jannaway’s family worry he ‘feels like we abandoned him again’ after he was banned from seeing his wife and children last month.

The 66-year-old has severe dementia and on October 14 his care home in Chichester, West Sussex, went into lockdown for three weeks after reporting cases of Covid. 

The home refused to allow his wife Patricia to visit even though she has essential care giver status. Mr Jannaway’s daughter Jo said this caused a further deterioration in his condition.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: ‘We are doing everything we can to support care providers to facilitate visits safely.’

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