A first of its kind visiting space that has reunited care home residents and families for the first since lockdown has proved to be a huge success.
A visitation lodge has been constructed outside two of the borough’s care homes at Worthington Lake and Lakeside in Standish. The lodge is covid-secure and set up to ensure both residents and visitors are safe with a Perspex screen placed through the middle and two different entrances and exits for each party.
The innovative idea stemmed from months of home visits from friends and family being curtailed in an effort to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading. Since the official opening a month ago, the care homes have received over 200 visitation bookings and this continues to rise as more and more families are keen to be reunited with their loved one again.
Coun Keith Cunliffe, Wigan Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for adult and social care, said: “This sort of innovation is sometimes what is needed to overcome unprecedented challenges that covid-19 has brought us.
“It’s been really tough for many of our residents and their loved ones this year so I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in making it possible.”
The lodge has been named ‘The Rawsthorne Retreat’ after a much-loved resident at Lakeside Care Home, Alan Rawsthorne, who been at Lakeside Care Home for over a year and who himself contracted the virus earlier this year.
Alan has made a full recovery and was one of the first to be surprised in the visitation lodge with his niece waiting for him on the other side of the perspex screen.
Staff at the care homes have been utilising donated iPads from the council to keep residents in touch with their families but management was keen to explore other avenues on top of this option.