RFR is a campaign to end the inhumane restrictions preventing relatives visiting their loved ones in care homes. Too many are denying families the type of visits outlined in the Government Visiting Guidance. Over the past thirteen months many residents have simply given up the will to live as they’ve been isolated from their loved ones.
We are calling on the Government to adopt the emergency legislation proposed by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights. This would ensure every resident has access to an Essential Care Giver that is seen as an extension of the paid care team.
Family members are not “just” visitors, they offer an essential component of care that has been removed during the pandemic. No matter how wonderful care staff are they can not provide the emotional support that can only come from a family member. We are the eyes, ears, voices and memories of our loved ones.
From children separated from their parents, to young adults and the elderly their distress is unimaginable. The majority of residents are living with conditions that prevent them from understanding what is happening and why. Isolated for months in their own small rooms they have been left feeling confused and abandoned.
THESE ARE OUR AIMS
We are urging MPs to force the Government to pass emergency legislation that would enshrines the rights of “Essential Family Carers” in law.
Family members offer an essential component of care that it is critical to mental health and well being. We are not “just” visitors.
Many care homes continue to defy Government guidelines and instead have imposed blanket visiting policies that limit one family member to a meaningless 20 or 30 minute visit once a week, fortnight or in some cases once a month.
On challenging these extreme visiting policies some families have been asked to move their loved one to another home. These evictions are potentially life threatening. The risks of moving vulnerable residents can lead to transfer trauma, particularly in those living with Dementia, learning disabilities or other conditions that prevent them from understanding what’s happening to them or why.
What we want the Government to do
The postcode lottery in which some are allowed meaningful visits and others are denied must stop. In order to end this inequality we’re calling on the Government to take the following urgent action before more lives are lost through loneliness and isolation:
- Mandate the Care Home Visiting Guidance with clear penalties for those that refuse to follow it.
- Pass emergency legislation that enshrines the right of an Essential Care Giver in law to provide emotional and well being support, regardless of outbreaks, tier restrictions, lockdowns or future variants.
- Remove the unnecessary 28 day quarantine period for care home residents following an outbreak – in line with the ten day requirement for the rest of the population.
Our Roles as Campaign Managers
To organise, rally, motivate and challenge others to fight on behalf of those living in care homes to ensure their voices are heard.
To liaise with other interested groups to ensure that efforts and pressure applied have maximum impact. Network, lobby and gain the support of larger charities, organisations, politicians and also the media.
To grow our membership in order to increase the number of grass roots actions that can be taken using our Facebook Group and website’
To support group members in taking individual actions (large and small) that will help achieve our campaign aims and to give them the tools to do this.
To raise sufficient funds for two people, to manage the campaign full-time.