The government to allow and fund instant covid testing to allow visiting in care homes.

The government to allow and fund instant covid testing to allow visiting in care homes.

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I wanted to share my story to try and and raise awareness of the situation with Dementia during this pandemic. My grandad was diagnosed with dementia two years ago. Although he had memory loss he was living a happy life, going to the pub twice a week for a drink and a chat with his friends at the bar and seeing his friends and family was what he lived for. The day the first lockdown was announced was the day my grandads life was to change forever. Living in a second floor flat in the middle of the city restricted him from any contact with the outside world. He spent 3 months indoors battling with his own mind. Although we tried to encourage grandad to go outside covid started to to make him paranoid and he thought it was living in the flowers and trees and we were in a plague . We watched him deteriorate every day. His dementia spiralled out of control and his weight dropped off rapidly . Months went on and grandads home care was increased. Hallucinations started and he no longer was safe at home. I tried everything I could do keep him at home for as long as possible but we could not go on like this anymore. I knew the situation in care homes were extremely upsetting but I never knew it was as bad as what I was about to experience. After a quick turnaround the day came and I took him to the home. Due to grandads mental state they allowed me to do an instant test and take him in his room to settle him. This was fine as he was with me and he trusts and depends on everything I say and do for him. When I went to leave he took a turn for the worst and he became extremely distressed, he was crying and begging me not to leave him. I couldn’t even promise him I’d be back tomorrow and it felt like a final goodbye. After leaving the home my grandad was trying to get out bashing the door and calling me to help him. I’ve since been back to the home to do an arranged window visit and the exact same thing happened. My grandad could not understand why he was stood behind a window, he became very upset and anxious and he  felt like he was being kept from me against his will. Window visits is now not an option for us now as my grandads understanding can not comprehend with why it’s happening and it’s to distressing for him. Phone calls are the same and are very upsetting for him and myself. Although the care home are amazing my grandad needs me to support his mental health and I am very worried about him. Although dementia is not classed as a mental health condition it effects the mental health drastically making people suffer with very scary hallucinations, depression and severe anxiety.  I have been by his side his entire journey and now Im not in his life at all. A person suffering with these issues needs reassurance and a trusted family member to support them. This is extremely hard for anyone let alone for someone with final stages of dementia. It could be months before contact Is allowed with our loved ones and for some this might be to late. Instant covid tests are now available and care homes have been vaccinated yet there is no indication when we can see our loved ones. Why is this? I understand the complexities of the situation and how hard is it to make decisions however we are protecting people’s lives but this is the reality to what is being done to peoples mental health which will still effect our NHS. This is just one story and one person, I can’t imagine how many people are suffering in care home as we speak.  Please sign my petition and share my post. To raise awareness if nothing else. Thank you for reading. 

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