A CARE home has been praised online after installing “visiting booths” to allow lonely residents to continue to see their loved ones during lockdown.
The Vicarage Court Care Home in Pontefract, West Yorkshire shared images of their newly installed “Vicarage Court Visiting Booth” to their Facebook page on Friday.
The home has installed two visiting pods at the facility which will be “totally sealed” and cleaned to enable people to visit.
The photo shows the hand-decorated booth which has been set up in front of a set of double doors in the resident’s lounge.
Visitors will be able to enter through the doors and wave to their loved ones through a window which has been created in the centre.
The care home posted a lengthy status alongside their picture of the booth, saying: “During lockdown, the lack of physical visiting has been hard for residents and relatives.
“While we have zoom calls, which are better than nothing, but physical visits are important.
“We at Vicarage Court recognise this so have tried to see how to facilitate this without compromising safety for our residents.
“This is the first of 2 visitor pods that we have built. These are at the bottom of our lounge and accessed from the French door outside.
“They are totally sealed, so no risk to any residents.
“We have a cleaning regime in place for the visitor side.
“This now allows all families to visit on pre-scheduled slots to our home.
“We have a material screen to be put behind the residents chair, when visiting is in place, they have complete privacy.
“Many families are not putting relatives in care homes due to not being able to visit them. They are struggling at home. This will not be the case at Vicarage Court.
“We aim to allow pre-scheduled visiting via these sealed pods, without it endangering any residents, in addition to the zoom calls already in place.”
Facebook users have been delighted to see the visiting booth installed with many calling for other care homes to follow suit.
Paula Cassidy said: “So logical, hopefully other care homes will follow suit. So many families shocked by the appearance of their loved ones and feel as though they haven’t been taken care of but this shows you actually do care.”
Chris Fox posted: “Very well done – I’ve been wondering why this hasn’t been done. It will make a huge difference to your residents and their families.
“Come on other care homes – please do something similar.”
Lynn Holbrook commented: “Wow that’s brilliant something so simple but lots of pleasure for the visitors and residents. All care homes should do it.”
And Jay Meaney said: “Great idea. It’s so sad how the elderly have been deprived of their families. In fact it is out and out cruel.
“Well done whoever created this. It will do wonders for moral and mental health.”
Due to government guidelines, visits to care homes have been restricted across the UK to stop the spread of the virus.
Speaking today, house manager Tracy Smith said: “It has been fantastic, the residents absolutely love it. It has really lifted their spirits.”