We need in-person nursing-home visits

Sir, – I was elated to see your photos of in-person visits in nursing homes (News, March 12th).

Believing this represented a long overdue relaxation of the rules, I excitedly rang my mother’s nursing home to find out when I could have an in-person visit to be told that the only change in rules is a second window visit .

I was completely devastated to learn this as I find window visits to be a very stressful experience for both me and my mother. I sit there with my mask on, close to tears, as my mother tries in vain to reach out to me not fully comprehending that a floor-to-ceiling glass window separates us.

She begs me to take her out for a drive to get some fresh air as this is one of the things she so loved to do.

I am so aghast that in-person visits are not allowed by the National Public Health Emergency Team given that in my mother’s home, both residents and staff have been fully vaccinated and in light of the most recent data on the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing hospitalisations and deaths in the over 80s. I have also noted that, for example, in the UK in-person visits are allowed and in Spain family members are allowed to take their family member outdoors in a wheelchair or by whatever means possible given the person’s level of mobility.

I urge Nphet to rethink this unduly harsh and restrictive regime in light of the fact that the nursing home residents and staff have now been vaccinated and that a lack of physical presence with a family member is a huge cause of stress and anxiety to all residents.

Speaking for my mother (and I’m sure this applies to other residents) this policy is only accelerating her decline .

What is the point of being vaccinated if the residents cannot actually enjoy the time they have left? – Yours, etc,

KARIN LEDFORD,

Dalkey,

Co Dublin