My name is Jenny and my mum Jean lived in a care home when the COVID 19 pandemic began, as she had a range of health conditions, including Alzheimer's Dementia. After the Government locked care homes down in March 2021 and all visiting was stopped, the lack of family contact left her feeling anxious, lonely and confused. As a result, her physical and mental health deteriorated rapidly, and she became a shadow of her former self. This was distressing for mum - and we spent many long months grieving for someone that was still alive.
With nowhere to turn for support, myself and my partner Diane, gave up our jobs and channelled every ounce of energy we had into joining with other affected families to fight for an end to the inhumane visiting rules imposed on care homes. Sadly, mum passed away in August 2021 and we continue to campaign in memory of her, and thousands of others who died, having been locked away for months on end. We also need legislation to ensure this never happens again.
In response to our Campaign, Official Government Guidance has finally acknowledged the need for every resident to nominate an Essential Care Giver / Visitor that can visit “in all circumstances”, including during a Covid outbreak.
However, many homes refuse to follow the official Government Guidance - as it is advisory and not law - and instead impose their own more restrictive visiting regime.
What we want the Government to do:
Pass legislation that gives every care home resident the legal right to nominate an Essential Care Giver / Visitor that can visit in ALL circumstances, regardless of outbreaks, tier restrictions, lockdowns or variants.
Produce official care home visiting guidance that brings those living in care settings in line with the rest of society who are no longer subject to ANY Covid restrictions.
Mandate the Government visiting guidance to care homes and introduce clear penalties for those that refuse to implement them.
Family members are not “just” visitors. No matter how wonderful care staff are, they cannot provide the emotional support that can only come from a family member. From children separated from their parents to young adults and the elderly, their distress is unimaginable.
Inequality and Discrimination
On 19th July all Covid restrictions were lifted in England but despite being the first group to be fully vaccinated, care home residents remain subject to harsh restrictions. The disparity of treatment must end. The alternative is that those living in care homes will be locked away indefinitely, with no end in sight.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO CONTINUE THE CAMPAIGN
Rights For Residents started as a small Face Book Group which we ran in our spare time. However, it quickly escalated and we were unable to manage the campaign activities in addition to working full time. As a result, we gave up our jobs to devote all of our time to running Rights for Residents.
Your donations enable us to continue working full time on the Campaign, while covering our own living costs. All funds go directly to cover this and any additional admin costs. Without your support we’d be forced to abandon the gains we’ve made so far and return to our own salaried jobs but we’re determined to continue as long as it’s financially viable for us to do so. We both remain firmly committed to the cause.
Every single donation is important - large or small as it all adds up!
It also helps to know you value and appreciate the work being done to help reunite people with their loved ones. Your encouragement has inspired us to continue, while struggling to deal with our own distress, as we've been directly affected by the issue.
We’re unable to register as a charity or CIC at the moment - as pressure groups involved with political campaigning - don’t meet the criteria for registration..
Our work has had a significant impact - changing the minds of the media, politicians, the public and crucially many of those that manage and work in care homes. We've built up considerable momentum since we started last September – having worked tirelessly to secure extensive media coverage. In December, a national newspaper adopted our campaign, which helped force the Government to start opening care homes up again and was a major achievement.
We’ve been invited to meetings with Ministers, Senior Government officials, the Shadow Care Minister and other high profile politicians, including Jeremy Hunt. We’ve also given evidence to Harriet Harman’s Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights that contributed to their proposal for essential visitors to be enshrined in law.
Thanks for supporting our work – we really do appreciate it
Jenny Morrison & Diane Mayhew
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