Our new Covid testing routine, which delivers results in 30 minutes, continues to enable families to be re-united and attract the attention of the British and overseas media.
Reuters news agency was on hand to capture the moments when 84 year-old Bob Underhill was tested and then able to visit his wife, Patricia, without being behind a plastic screen, for the first time in nearly a year. Patricia has Alzheimer’s Disease and moved to the Chiswick Nursing Centre in March, after breaking her hip. Sadly the firsttLockdown then hit, keeping Bob apart from his beloved wife.
“I’ve only seen her twice since March,” Bob said. “I did come and see her last Friday through the partitions, which is not very pleasant: it is not the same being three metres apart.”
Suitably tested, declared virus-free and both dressed in protective equipment, Bob and Patricia were, at last, able to enjoy a close visit and spend time together.
Also delighted to see each other close up were Theresa Snelling and her daughter, Serena. “It feels great,” said Theresa, who has been with us since February.
Serena was Theresa’s primary carer before she moved into the Chiswick, so the two are very close “It’s been really challenging not being able to see her. We love each other very much. It feels really good and it feels like a long time coming,” said a smiling Serena after their reunion.
Centre Director, Steve Winter admits that the new testing procedures have meant extra work for staff, who have already endured several long, hard months to protect residents from the virus, but believes the benefits are worth it. “You only have to look at the expressions on the faces of our residents and their loved ones as they are close for the first time in months, to see how much it means to them. It’s been a real boost for everyone’s morale and mental wellbeing, including our hard-working team here.”
Next, we wait, with fingers crossed, for the newly-approved vaccine, with Nursing and Care homes, high up on the priority list for vaccinations.