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Balhousie Care Group begins phased re-opening of homes to garden visits for loved ones

As lockdown measures begin to relax, one of Scotland’s leading providers of residential care has gradually begun to re-open its homes to visitors.

Last week, Balhousie Care Group began the phased re-opening of homes to residents’ loved ones with strict infection prevention and control measures in place. Following government guidelines, all visits will take place in the homes’ gardens with one designated visitor per resident.

The home re-openings, which is being phased in clusters across all of the group’s 26 homes, began on Monday July 6, with Balhousie Luncarty in Perthshire the first to host garden visits.

Balhousie Care 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, by phone, 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. Jill 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 re-opening takes place in the safest and most practical way possible. Among the many new measures we’ve taken to prepare for the re-establishing of 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 her 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 in within the homes. This has been embraced by families during lockdown while waiting for homes to begin re-opening.

To find out more about Balhousie Care Group visit www.balhousiecare.co.uk

For guidelines for relatives visiting their loved ones again click here.

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