Mary Butler TD, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People today welcomed the publication of the latest visiting guidance for nursing homes.
During these times there has been a particular emphasis on retaining a holistic view of the wellbeing of residents, remaining person-centred, being cognisant of their rights as citizens, and being vigilant that in seeking to shield them from infection that these rights are not infringed upon in to an extent, or in a manner, that is disproportionate.
As the disease is becoming more supressed in the community the National Public Health Emergency Team has advised that the gradual reintroduction of usual activities while taking public health precautions should commence. This advice is reflected in the latest visiting guidance. Detail of this guidance is set out by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre at: https://www.hpsc.ie This guidance is under constant review, balancing risks with benefit in line with the disease trajectory in the community
Minister Butler said: “I’ve listened to the views of many families and I recognise that the impact of COVID-19 on society in general and especially those living in nursing homes has been considerable. We must remember that residential settings are people’s homes as well as places where health and social care are provided. The introduction of physical distancing, isolation and restricted contact with family and loved ones has changed the usual dynamic of social interaction. I understand the need to protect residents, staff and visitors to nursing homes and I am confident that nursing homes are preparing the way to allow for visiting in a safe way. I hope these latest public health guidelines developed by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre help nursing homes, residents and their families.”