Alzheimer Scotland welcomes the Scottish Government’s announcement yesterday to recommence family visiting and communal activities for people living in Scotland’s care homes. This is a much-needed step forward for those people who have been unable to visit their loved ones in care homes throughout this crisis.

The new guidance issued demonstrates a staged approach to reintroducing visiting in Scotland’s care homes, which will begin on Friday 3 July.

The staged approach sets out four phases for visiting people living in care homes, with stage one being where we are presently:

Stage 1

  • Essential visits only (End of life care or stress and distress) with no communal activity

Stage 2 – from 3 July

  • Garden Visits with 1 key/designated visitor appropriate social distancing
  • Essential visits indoors
  • Residents use of outdoor areas in limited numbers in homes without an ongoing outbreak. Avoidance of communal areas
    • Must be with: • Physical distancing • Staff wearing appropriate PPE • Strict cleaning regimes • Visitor wearing face covering or mask

To read the phased approach in full, click here. 

We are grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute to the development of this guidance. This has been an extremely difficult time for people with dementia and their families and hopefully this new guidance will help reunite those who have spent many months apart and reduce some of the stress and distress that people with dementia have been experiencing. Whilst we know families will be desperate to be reunited with their loved ones, it is vital that we follow this guidance and take every possible precaution to keep those living and working in our care homes safe.

Over half of the people living in a care home in Scotland have dementia. We have heard first-hand through our local teams and our 24 hour Freephone Dementia Helpline about the impact coronavirus, and the subsequent restrictions, has had on the lives of people with dementia and their families. The personal accounts of those people not able to receive visitors, or visit their loved ones in care homes, have been harrowing. In many cases, people with dementia have experienced significant decline in their health and wellbeing and, sadly, many of them have died during this pandemic. We would like to offer our sincere condolences to the families affected and express our gratitude to the people working in Scotland’s care homes, who have shown extreme bravery, empathy and compassion in the toughest of times.

If you need any further information or emotional support, please call our Helpline. We’re here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can read the full guidance here.