Care home opens up for socially-distanced visits

Viral News | Published:

For the first time in weeks, relatives could see their loved ones face-to-face in the garden of a care home in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside.

There were emotional scenes at a care home where residents were allowed to meet family members for the first time in weeks – albeit at a distance.

The Eothen care home in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, is carrying out routine coronavirus testing of staff and residents, and so far none of the 33 people who live there have come down with the virus.

The management team has now allowed family members to meet their loved ones face-to-face outside, while maintaining safety standards.

Coronavirus – Wed May 27, 2020
Margaret Yeoman, 90, sees her son John Yeoman, 62, and his wife Denise, 63, for the first time in weeks (Owen Humphreys/PA)

They then go through a side gate into the garden of the home where they could see their relative while they maintain a two-metre gap, with the strict rule of no physical contact.

Mrs Esslemont said: “Because we have been so lucky not to have any coronavirus in the home – none of the residents have any symptoms – we have taken the small steps forward to make sure residents can have access to their relatives.

Coronavirus – Wed May 27, 2020
Visitors are temperature-tested before they are allowed to come into the garden for meetings (Owen Humphreys/PA)

“There’s no hugs, kisses or touching as we have to be careful, we need to take little steps forward.”


Among the first visitors were John Yeoman, 62, and his wife Denise, 63, who were visiting his 90-year-old mother Margaret.

Mrs Esslemont said: “You could see the emotion, and it was lovely to see that.”

Coronavirus – Wed May 27, 2020
Assistant manager Claire Welford administers a coronavirus swab test on resident Harry Hall, 94 (Owen Humphreys/PA)

She said: “They have pulled together.

“It has been extremely hard, worrying about coming to work and supporting the residents as best we can, then worrying about possibly taking it home to the family.

“I think the staff have made a lot of commitment to the home and they have done a fabulous job.”

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