Rights For Residents is a campaign to end the current inhumane restrictions that prevent relatives visiting their loved ones in care homes. Over 100,000 care home residents have now died since the start of the pandemic. Tragically, most have been denied meaningful contact with their families and are dying in a pandemic of loneliness and isolation.
Residents have been cut off from their families and denied the support and stimulation they so desperately need. On top of that, many are experiencing the added trauma of being isolated in their rooms as part of care homes’ infection control measures.
At Rights for Residents, we say this situation is untenable and must change immediately.
THESE ARE OUR AIMS
We demand that the Government, Local Authorities and Care providers find a more humane solution that balances the risk of contracting Covid-19 against the devastating mental and physical deterioration we are witnessing as people remain locked away. Our Campaign is calling on Parliament to pass emergency legislation that enshrines the rights of “Essential Family Carers” in law.
· As in the Canadian More than a Visitor Act, every care home resident should have up to two designated essential family carers that could visit regardless of Covid restrictions. Family members offer an essential component of care that it is critical to mental health and well being – that cannot be replicated by a staff member – no matter how wonderful. Emotional starvation is also a killer.
· The risks of isolation to the mental health of vulnerable people living in the community has been acknowledged by the Government and they are allowed to form a social bubble. Care home residents are the only group in society denied this support and it’s shocking that their human right to a family life is being so flagrantly disregarded.
We urge MPs from all parties to call on Helen Whately, Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson to take the following urgent action:
Pass emergency legislation that enshrines the rights of essential family carers in law.
End the inhumane practice of using floor to ceiling screens that are currently a requirement for visiting. Residents are human beings and should not be treated as if they are animals in a zoo. We don’t want to “view” our loved ones.
Produce mandatory Guidelines that instruct care providers to use all of the infection control tools they now have to enable safe visiting. These include PCR and LFT tests, wearing PPE, taking temperature checks and risk assessments. The Government claim the vaccine offers residents and staff a high level of protection, even after one dose. When combined with all other measures the risk is minimal.
Remove the burden of responsibility from individual care home managers to decide on visiting policies as they are frozen by the fear of Covid while ignoring all other risks.
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 and gain support of larger charities and organisations 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 (currently in development)
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.