Summary of report content
Healthwatch Liverpool ran an online focus group for the relatives of care home residents on 22 October 2020 about their experience of contact with their loved ones during the pandemic. as they wanted to find out about local residents’ experiences and perceptions of this service. They spoke to 4 people.
Overall, people had a negative experience of care homes during the pandemic. All participants said they had been unable to see or speak to their loved ones as much as they would have liked. While some people were able to attend garden or window visits with loved ones over the summer, different care homes had organised these in different ways, and window or garden visiting arrangements were not always suitable for participants or their loved ones.
People raised concerns around the impact on care home residents with dementia, who might find window visits difficult; might not be able to use a telephone or video-calling app to speak to relatives; and might not understand why relatives are no longer visiting them.
People also told Healthwatch that it was difficult to get in touch with care home staff and to get clear information about how their loved one was doing. A number of people reported that their loved ones’ condition had deteriorated during the pandemic, and felt this had been upsetting for them.
It is clear that the inability to visit loved ones in care homes had a significant impact on people, as well as on their loved one living in a care home. It is also clear that communication between families of residents and care homes should be improved.