The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all as we seek to keep ourselves and those in our community safe and free from the virus. We have all seen how this has been particularly the case with care homes, and like many others Ecclesholme closed its doors to all but essential visitors at the start of the pandemic to protect its residents.
To counter any feelings of isolation that the lack of visitors could bring, the staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that residents have had regular contact with their families by phone or video call and this has been a great comfort to the residents and their families.
However, close up, face to face conversations have not been possible. That is until now.
This has all changed as the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution care home in Eccles, Manchester, has become one of the first in the country to install a COVID secure visitor pod thanks to the generosity of the Association of Friends of Ecclesholme.
The residents have been overjoyed to be reunited with their loved ones after months without visitors and staff and residents have had a real morale boost as the pod enables residents to meet safely with their families again. These newly created partitioned spaces have airtight, toughened glass screen to ensure the safety of residents, their families, and the home’s staff. Visitors can now enter and exit the room from outside the home to minimise the risk of infection. While resident’s access the room from a different door inside the home. Both sides of the pod are deep cleaned between each visit.
Among the residents thrilled to be able to have visitors again was Olive Marshall, who was overjoyed to see her daughter, Susan Rees, for the first time four months.
Daughter Susan said:
“We are really grateful for the care, attention and love that Ecclesholme have given to mum, especially over these last four months of lockdown. We have been able to speak on the phone, and the home have sent photos, but there is nothing better than actually seeing a loved one at close quarters. The pod that has been installed provides this much needed opportunity.”
Home manager, Bev Niland said:
“It means the world to our residents to be able to have their loved ones visit and chat to them. In normal times, they are able to have visitors whenever they like, so not being able to do that has been heart-breaking for everyone.”
“We’re all looking forward to the day when they can hug each other, but until then, we hope that our new secure pod will make it a bit easier for our residents and their families.”
Photo: Ecclesholme resident, Olive Marshall, is reunited with her daughter, Susan Rees, in the home’s new visitor pod.
Story: Wayne Devlin