• The government has recently announced that care home visits can take place
  • Guidance has been provided to encourage and support safe visiting opportunities
  • The pods have been installed to promote connectivity and combat loneliness, particularly during the festive period when families should be together

Specialist dementia care provider Vida Healthcare has installed three visiting pods in the grounds of its two care homes to support safe visits during winter.

As identified by The Academy of Medical Sciences1, this winter could see health and social care services facing four acute pressures; rising cases of COVID-19, disruption of the NHS, a backlog of routine care, and flu season coinciding with the current pandemic.

The pods have been installed to facilitate the safe visits of families and residents in a comfortable environment, while reducing the risk of cross infection.

Up to four people including residents, family members, and carers, can use the pods while adhering to government guidelines. A tactile vinyl wall has been established in each pod to provide enrichment for care home residents, and enable family members to connect with their loved ones.

Bernadette Mossman, Healthcare Director at Vida Healthcare, commented: “Visiting relatives in care homes is a fundamental need for families and residents, and the pandemic has reduced our ability to be able to facilitate this much needed interaction.

“As recently announced by the government and High Court, care home residents can receive visitors during this second lockdown and at Vida we’re doing everything we can to create opportunities for visits. Our brand new ‘Together Again’ visiting pods are one example of innovations we’re implementing to ensure our residents can safely connect with their loved ones over the coming months.”

Founded in 2010, Vida Healthcare was established to transform the provision of dementia care. It offers specialist accommodation and full-time care for people living with dementia, and recently joined the top four per cent of adult social care services after securing Care Quality Commission Outstanding ratings for both its homes.

Anne Thompson, whose husband has been a resident at Vida Hall since December 2015, added: “The staff at Vida have been wonderful in allowing us to keep up with the daily lives of our loved ones, however it’s been stressful not being able to visit in person. Seeing our loved ones, particularly at Christmas, is really important to us and it’s comforting to know that you’ve set up these pods to give us safe opportunities to come and visit.”

Another family member said: “Words can’t describe how very grateful my family and I are to the incredible Vida Healthcare staff at this very difficult time. I know they must be scared yet they still come and care for our loved ones. All I can offer is my constant prayers for their safety and my very grateful thanks for all that they are doing.”

For more information about the measures being implemented to support visiting and connectivity during winter, please visit https://www.vidahealthcare.co.uk/