As Mother’s Day approaches this Sunday, The Disabilities Trust spoke to mum, Sharon, to mum Sharon, who highlighted the support her son receives from Shinewater Court ensures that she can now focus on ‘being a Mum instead of a carer’.

People we support are looking forward to reconnecting with their families and local community with the opening up of care homes is part of the government's first step in easing restrictions as the road map out of lockdown begins, allowing visits with their Mother’s and loved ones where possible this year.

Mother's Day will still feel very different this year for many. Sharon, whose son has been a resident at Shinewater Court since 2017, commented on how she has found keeping in touch with Henry throughout the pandemic, she said: “With technology these days, thankfully a lot has changed and it’s been easy to stay connected with FaceTime and phone calls. Because I have to shield, we have not seen each other in person for some time, but as we have been able to keep in touch with FaceTime, we haven’t missed out, and it doesn’t feel as if much has changed.

“The main thing is, Henry has not noticed any change. He is happy and is keeping busy with his friends and Support Worker and he knows I can be contacted if needed. As any mother, or parent, it’s always hard when your children get older and leave home, it is exactly the same with Henry. If he wasn’t at Shinewater Court at this age he would be away from home and wouldn’t be speaking to his mum every day! I accept that.”

Celebrating the event this year with the key change that care home residents are allowed a single visitor, provided they have a negative coronavirus test and wear PPE.

Sharon added: “The independence and support he receives has enabled me to be his mum again, rather than his carer. It has also allowed me to focus on his sibling, my daughter, as for several years I was Henry’s full-time carer. I feel I have a good life balance and knowing that Henry is happy and healthy is my main priority and makes me happy.”

The guidance, which was applied on Monday, 8 March 2021, allows every person of working age and for older adults who lives in a care home to nominate a single named visitor to enter the care home for regular pre-booked visits. Hugs and kisses will not be allowed to help curb the chance of spreading the virus, but handholding will be permitted, according to the latest visiting guidance by the government.

The guidance sets out the government’s advice to support safe visiting and ensures that all visitors to our care homes will:

Be tested using rapid lateral flow tests before every visit
Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
Follow all other infection control measures (which the care home will guide them on) during visits.
Be advised to keep physical contact to a minimum.

Visitors and supported people may wish to hold hands but should bear in mind that any contact increases the risk of transmission. It is not a condition of visiting that the visitor or the supported person should have been vaccinated. We are also able to continue to offer visits to other friends or family members with arrangements such as outdoor visiting, substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows.