A West Yorkshire woman is fighting for the rights of care home residents after Covid restrictions meant she was unable to visit her 80-year-old mother with dementia for a year.
Penny Hutchinson of Halifax visited mom Yvonne Williamson every morning for three years before the Covid pandemic started and took turns with her brother to visit her every other night.
But Penny was “devastated” when restrictions to fight the coronavirus put in place last March meant she couldn’t see her mother in person.
“”When March came we were shut out of my mother’s life without being able to explain why, which was pretty devastating, “she told YorkshireLive.
“”Mom doesn’t understand coronavirus, all she knows is [her children] stopped visiting for a year.
“She still recognizes us, thank God.
“”We worked so hard to make Skype. Mom puts her hand on the screen and doesn’t notice that she can’t hold our hands. “
Penny has been able to see her mother since March 8, when nursing home residents were allowed a single registered visitor.
Now she has joined the Resident Rights campaign calling on the government to ensure that nursing home residents have the right to see a family member or friend during future lockdown restrictions.
Today she traveled to London to forward the group’s petition to Parliament, aided by Labor’s Social Welfare Spokesperson Liz Kendall.
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The petition has nearly 230,000 signatures and also calls for penalties against nursing homes that do not meet government guidelines for visits.
“ANobody who doesn’t follow [the rules] must follow them, “said Penny.”Too many haven’t noticed, they don’t let people go for a walk.
“”Regardless of what happens, every nursing home resident must have the right to see a family member or friend so that we never leave our weakest alone again. “
The campaign comes from the fact that the government today eased lockdown restrictions on residents of nursing homes.
Residents who leave home to go for a walk or visit a loved one’s garden will no longer have to isolate themselves for two weeks upon their return.
Those departing for medical appointments and overnight visits are still required to self-isolate for 14 days, the PA news agency understands.