People in care could soon see loved ones
Balhousie begins phased re-opening at homes
Residents across Perth and Kinross could be reunited with loved ones soon as one of the region’s largest care providers steps up its phased reopening of homes to the public.
Balhousie Care Group began the phased reopening of its homes last week, with all visits now taking place in the gardens with one designated visitor per resident.
The home reopenings, which is being phased in clusters across all of the group’s 26 homes, began on Monday, July 6 at Balhousie Luncarty, which was the first to host garden visits.
Balhousie Care Group was one of the first care home providers to close its doors to non-essential visits in March and since then residents have kept in close contact with loved ones through regular video calls, phone calls, letters and texts.
Jill Kerr, group chief executive at Balhousie Care Group, is grateful to residents and relatives for their patience waiting to be reunited.
She said: “We can’t wait to welcome relatives back and thank them for their patience and understanding while our homes have been closed down for non-essential visits.
“It’s important that our reopening takes place in the safest and most practical way possible.
“Among the many new measures we’ve taken to prepare for the re-establishmentof visits are personal protection equipment (PPE) for visitors, thermal imaging cameras to detect high temperatures, and staggered visits through our new online booking system.
“We have also issued tips to relatives on meeting their loved ones again as we know this can be an emotional and anxious time for everyone.”
Fay Tollan saw her husband, Arthur Doughty, a resident at Balhousie Pitlochry, for the first time in person since March when she visited the Perthshire care home last Thursday, July 9.
Fay has been unable to leave home herself as she has been shielding, but has been speaking to Arthur every day by phone.
She said: “It has been a very difficult situation for everyone. Speaking to Arthur everyday has really helped.
“He always tells me how well he is being looked after, which is very reassuring. The staff at Pitlochry have been wonderful.
“Their process for visiting is very thorough, as it should be. Seeing Arthur certainly brightened me up as I’ve missed seeing him every day.
“I’ve already got my next visit booked in.”
As well as phone calls, many relatives have been having regular video calls with loved ones and following the homes’ various closed Facebook groups where they can see residents participating in many activities within the homes.
Guidelines for visiting loved ones can be found at www. balhousiecare.co.uk/tips-onvisiting-your-loved-one-againafter-lockdown/