Photos of great gran show heartbreaking toll of care home lockdown

The devastating impact of the coronavirus lockdown on a care home resident has been revealed in heartbreaking before and after images. 

Carol Wrightson’s condition has declined rapidly in recent months and her daughter says a ‘lack of family contact, love and compassion’ has played a huge role. 

Six years ago Carol, 77, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and was moved into Stainton Lodge Care Centre, Middlesbrough. 

Daughter Donna, 47, believes the illness has taken hold of her mother far more quickly that it otherwise would have due to lockdown measures restricting her ability to see her beloved family.

Visit our live blog for the latest updates Coronavirus news live

Although she does not blame the care home, the mum-of-two thinks the Government needs to take a different approach to those with dementia.

Carol, who has four children, 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, has now lost the ability to speak – so face to face contact is even more crucial.

Donna, 47, said: ‘She has deteriorated so much. She has dementia and Alzheimer’s and I’m fully aware that this happens with this disease – but I believe that’s its took hold quicker because of lack of contact, love and compassion from our family.

‘We need to see our mam and she needs to see us. All my mam has to look forward to is her family and that’s been taken away from us.’

Donna said she has no issues with the staff at the care home but is desperate to see her mother.

She added: ‘Someone somewhere needs to help us families. Why can’t we wear PPE, have a test, take all precautions possible just like the staff in the nursing homes?

‘I know care homes are just following guidelines but we need the government to take a different approach on this.

‘Please don’t keep us away from our loved ones we’ve already missed out on so much and we can’t get that back. Is this how we protect our loved ones by locking them away?’

During the national coronavirus lockdown, Carol’s children – Donna, Debbie, Terry and Jamie – weren’t able to see their mother for more than four months.

But as restrictions were lifted, Donna was able to go into the care home – once per week for 45 minutes – to see her.

She had to sit on different sides of the room, with a screen in between them, but she was able to see her in person.

Donna was permitted four visits in this manner before she was faced with the exact same situation, again.

Following a spike in coronavirus cases across Middlesbrough, the care home went back into lockdown around five weeks ago and Middlesbrough Council, which runs the home, suspended visiting ‘to protect all residents and staff from the threat of infection’.

Carol has also been taken to hospital on a number of occasions during this time which has taken its toll on the family.

During one incident, Donna was able to travel by ambulance and go into hospital with her until she was moved to a permanent ward.

She said: ‘Even the care home said how her face lit up when she saw me. When we were in the hospital she didn’t let go of my hand all day.’

Carol was diagnosed with pneumonia and sepsis and given IV antibiotics and oxygen.

She remained in James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough for six days before returning to the care home.

Despite still being unwell, Donna is still not permitted to visit the home due to the strict no visiting policy.

Before coronavirus hit, Donna said she was ‘constantly’ with her mother and would visit between five and seven times per week, to help with meal times. But now she has to rely on limited Facetime calls.

Donna is also facing the prospect that she won’t be able to bring her mum home for Christmas Day, as she would every year.

Mark Adams, South Tees Joint Director of Public Health, said: ‘This is understandably a very upsetting time for the Wrightson family and other families around Middlesbrough who are unable to visit loved ones in care homes.

‘We have spoken to a member of the family in recent days to listen to their concerns and explain our position.

‘Our decision in September to advise care homes to suspend visiting was taken to protect all residents and staff from the threat of infection.

‘It certainly wasn’t a decision we took lightly and we continue to explore ways of accommodating visits in as controlled a fashion as is possible.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Source: Read Full Article