Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has called on the Minister for Mental Health and Older People and Nursing Homes Ireland to work together to ensure that all nursing homes are following HPSC guidance for visitation.
He stressed how nursing homes maintaining regular family contact for residents is hugely important for residents’ health.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“This will be a very difficult lockdown, especially for residents of nursing homes and their families.
“It is critical that they are kept safe, but isolation does not achieve this either.
“Visitation is important especially on critical and compassionate grounds, which extends not only to end of life but also to the personal wellbeing of a resident.
“The guidance from the HPSC says that outdoor visitation, in particular window visits, can and should continue even during outbreaks.
“The responsibility is on nursing homes to ensure that the infrastructure – such as gazebos – is in place, and that a compassionate approach is taken.
“The priority is to keep people safe, and the guidelines need to be consistently implemented across nursing homes.
“The virus is spreading at an alarming rate and staff and residents need to be protected. Many homes have achieved this while protecting visitation access.
“No resident should be denied regular visits from their family under any level.
“Nursing homes have been provided funding through the Temporary Assistance Payment to ensure that outdoor and window visits continue during lockdowns.
“I have spoken with the Minister and Nursing Homes Ireland and stressed the importance of their role in making sure families can visit their loved ones during this time.”