Alzheimer's Society comments: Family carers are an integral part of the care system
Fiona Carragher, Director of Research and Influencing at Alzheimer’s Society said:
"People with dementia, who make up at least 70% of care home residents, have been worst hit by coronavirus. We cannot underestimate the significance of removing contact with loved ones from extremely vulnerable people, the confusion and upset that that causes – and furthermore the impact on essential care and wellbeing of that person. Family carers are an integral part of the care system – it is they who know how to get their loved one to eat and drink, the difficulties they might have communicating their needs and wants, what reassures them and what worries them.
"The tools exist – PPE and testing are available. It’s about understanding that it is absolutely essential to provide these, as it is a human right for people to get the care and attention they so desperately need. Unfortunately, as we often see with the social care system, government response and guidance is focusing on processes, rather than people. We’ve worked with John’s Campaign on this and wholeheartedly support their admirable goal. Local Authorities must work with care homes to develop visitor policies that understand designated family carers to be of equal importance as key workers."