Residents at RMBI Care Co. Home Prince Michael of Kent Court, in Watford, were overjoyed to be reunited with their loved ones this week after four months without visitors.
The home is among the first in the country to install a COVID-secure visitor pod, to enable residents to meet safely with their families again.
Prince Michael of Kent Court closed its doors to all but essential visitors before lockdown to protect its residents.
Staff have worked tirelessly to ensure residents have had regular contact with their families by ‘phone or video call, but close up, face to face conversations have not been possible.
The newly created, partitioned space has an airtight, glass screen to ensure the safety of residents, their families, and the Home’s staff. Visitors enter and exit from the outside the Home to minimise the risk of infection. Residents access the pod from a different door inside the Home.
The pod has an intercom system to allow residents and their visitors to speak with each other easily. Both sides of the pod are deep cleaned between each visit. It was installed by the Home’s fantastic facilities team.
Among the residents thrilled to be able to have visitors again was 93-year-old Betty Higginbotham. Betty was overjoyed to meet great grandson, Freddy, born during lockdown, for the first time.
Betty said: “It was wonderful to meet little Freddy at last and to be reunited with my granddaughter Charlotte and my great granddaughter Ava. He is such a dear little soul and he was so calm, like his lovely mum. I’ve been longing to meet him!”
Betty’s granddaughter, Charlotte, said: “It was fantastic being able to introduce Freddy at last. The visitor pod is great, the whole experience was just really positive. The Home has done a brilliant job looking after my nan through the pandemic, we can’t have asked for more.”
Home manager, Beverley Roberts, said: “It means the world to our residents to be able to have their loved ones visit and chat to them. In normal times, they are able to have visitors whenever they like, so not being able to do that has been heart-breaking for everyone.
“We’re all looking forward to the day when they can hug each other, but until then, we hope that our new secure pod will make it a bit easier for our residents and their families.”