'No hugs, kisses or touching' – Care home lets residents see relatives

Care home allows residents to meet relatives face to face for the first time since lockdown – but they have to stay 6ft apart with no physical contact

  • ‘No hugs, kisses or touching,’ but residents are allowed to have visits from family
  • None of Eothen Homes’ 33 residents in Whitley Bay have had Covid-19
  • Visitors receive a temperature test on arrival before seeing their loved one  
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Elderly care home residents have been able to meet with their loved ones face to face after managers decided to ease their own lockdown measures.

Tests of staff and all 33 residents revealed no cases of Covid-19 at Eothen Homes in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, leading management to allow visits from family members.

Any visitor must make an appointment to meet their relative outside the care home, with temperature-testing take place on arrival.

Margaret Yeoman, 90, was among the first residents to be visited. Her son John Yeoman, 62, and his wife Denise, 63

Staff and residents have been tested for Covid-19 – with no positive results. Assistant manager Claire Welford carried out swab tests on staff including Colin Scarr at the Whitley Bay care home

Care home manager Dawn Esslemont said: ‘Because we have been so lucky not to have any coronavirus in the home – none of the residents have any symptoms – we have taken the small steps forward to make sure residents can have access to their relatives.

‘It’s lovely for the residents to see them face-to-face, we have been working very hard trying to keep them in touch via phone, FaceTime and Zoom, but they are not the same.

‘There’s no hugs, kisses or touching as we have to be careful, we need to take little steps forward.’ 

They then go through a side gate into the garden of the home where they could see their relative while they maintain a two-metre gap, with the strict rule of no physical contact. 

Among the first visitors were John Yeoman, 62, and his wife Denise, 63, who were visiting his 90-year-old mother Margaret.

Mrs Esslemont said: ‘You could see the emotion, and it was lovely to see that.’

The manager was full of praise for the efforts of her 42 members of staff who have shielded themselves at home and stuck to the guidelines to protect the residents, aged between their 70s and 105, who they look after.

Eothen Homes in Whitley Bay says it is taking small steps to help residents see loved ones again

None of Eothen Homes’ residents, including 94-year-old Harry Hall (above), in Whitley Bay have tested positive for Covid-19, leading managers to start allowing visitors 

She said: ‘They have pulled together.

‘It has been extremely hard, worrying about coming to work and supporting the residents as best we can, then worrying about possibly taking it home to the family.

‘I think the staff have made a lot of commitment to the home and they have done a fabulous job.’

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