Six months after Covid outbreak, care home residents finally hug loved ones again
- Credit: Danielle Booden
People at an Aylsham care home have been reunited with their families and loved ones, in some cases for the first time in more than a year, at a special garden party event.
The Mount care home on Heydon Road had a barbecue, live music and a visit from an ice-cream van for its families and 17 male residents, who have physical and/or mental disabilities.
Karen Powley, registered manager, said they were delighted to have finally been able to host the gathering, six months after an "awful" coronavirus outbreak which claimed the lives of eight residents.
She said: "We've been through the wars with Covid, it swept through the home in January.
"It didn't matter what PPE we wore or anything - a lot of the residents and staff got it. We lost eight residents and some didn't have underlying health conditions. Others, who did have underlying conditions, got it but made it through."
Ms Powley said the care home had gone into complete lockdown, and was only gradually able to open up again to visitors following the outbreak.
She said: "We didn't have any visitors for a while, then we were doing inside visits behind a screen, and as the warmer weather came some of the families met outside.
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"But we've got some people who haven't seen their families in a long time. We've got one gentleman here who's 51 and hasn't seen his mum and dad for 18 months. They've been able to talk on the phone or on FaceTime but it's not the same as when you actually see them."
Ms Powley said the garden party was partly funded by donations from the family members of the care home residents who had died in the outbreak.
She said: "We've also bought a bench to remember the people who passed away.
"Before Covid we used to have barbecues and things, so it's really nice to have that back and the families have the freedom to come and enjoy it. It's really nice for them to be able to touch their loved ones again."