Joy as relatives visit Wigan care homes for the first time in a year
Care home residents have enjoyed emotional reunions as they met their loved ones for the first time in a year.
Millennium Care shut the doors to all of its homes 12 months ago, several weeks before the first national lockdown, to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Now, after updated guidance was published by the Government, indoor visits from a nominated friend or relative are allowed in the homes once more.
There was no time to waste at Lakeside care home in Standish, which welcomed its first visitor at 9am on Monday.
It was an emotional moment as Norma Clews eagerly waited in the home’s conservatory to see her mother Margaret face-to-face.
It was the first time since March last year that they had been able to meet without a glass screen separating them.
The pair held hands and talked about how difficult the year had been.
The second visit to the home was by Michael Gregory, who was seeing his aunt Marion Darbyshire for the first time since she moved into Lakeside in September .
While there, she was reunited with best friend Winnie Shaw, who is also a resident of the home, and taken part in daily activities.
Marion said: “Oh it’s wonderful to see Michael. We can’t live like this forever, not going near people, what a miserable life that would be. Let’s get back to normal, lets hug, kiss and show each other love.”
Visitors to the home must have a coronavirus test, wear personal protective equipment and are asked to keep physical contact to a minimum.
Millennium care homes will also continue to allow visits for other loved ones in the safe visitation lodges at each home.
Lakeside manager Gail Howard said: “This is the start of getting back to normality. We all need physical touch from our loved ones. We have been very lucky to be one of the first homes in the country to have a safe visitation lodge, but it’s not the same as being able to hold hands. Today is the day we have all been waiting for.”
She continued: “Our staff at Lakeside have worked ever so hard implementing all the safety procedures to ensure visits could start as soon as we were given the green light and ensure as many residents get the chance to see a family member in a safe way,”
There is a new online visitation booking system for all homes across Millennium Care.
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