Rossendale Free Press
Care homes launch pods for visitor joy
THE last nine months have been especially difficult for care home residents and their relatives, but some Christmas cheer is starting to be spread at some of the Valley’s sites.
New facilities to ensure people can visit their friends and family members in Lancashire County Council’s own care homes - including Bacup’s Olive House - are now up and running.
While Hillview Care Home also had a Visiting Pod built to enable visits to the Rawtenstall home, which looks after up to 38 people in a residential setting, just in time for Christmas Day.
Staff pulled out all the stops to get the new facilities ready, so people can keep connected to their family and friends at Christmas.
Hillview home manager Emma Malecki said it had been “welcomed tremendously by everyone”.
She said: “We have introduced the pod at Christmas to bring joy to both our residents and staff. It has been a difficult year for everyone and we wanted to celebrate Christmas together in the safest way we could. The pod allows Covid-secure visits in a warm and welcoming environment.
“A relative called Graham said that it has made his Christmas, it’s the best Christmas present he could have asked for! While resident Phyliss commented that ‘she was so pleased to see her husband; she loved every minute during the visit. Family are thrilled with the new pod and commented it is an ‘ ingenious idea’.”
A pod, separate from main care home building, has also been installed at Olive House in Bacup.
County Coun Graham Gooch, cabinet member for adult services, said: “Everyone has done a tremendous job to get these new visiting areas up and running.
“They provide pleasant, comfortable and safe areas for people to meet their friends and relatives, safe in the knowledge there is no risk of passing the virus on. These areas keep people completely separate with a full window in between the residents and visitors, but the window gives people the feeling that they are still in the same room.
“Visits have already begun and friends and families have been very positive about the new facilities.”
The county council has made extra funding available from the government’s Infection Control Grant to cover the cost of similar facilities being put in place in independently-run care homes.