Jubilee Court in Stevenage welcomed back families today after being in lockdown for nearly four months. First on the list to be re-united this morning were Chris Jarmaine and her 89-year-old Mother Ann.
The home has been closed since March, when parent company Quantum Care made the difficult decision to stop all non-essential visits to its care homes, including those from families and friends. Since that time, residents have been keeping in touch with their loved ones by letter, telephone calls and video calls, but today marked the first time that they could see each other face to face.
All visits are carried out within strict health and safety guidelines for everybody’s protection, which means that the visits take place outside, at a distance and with no personal contact.
Ann, one of Jubilee Court’s residents, couldn’t stop smiling when she saw her daughter for the first time since the home’s lockdown began. Despite the distance between them, Chris was able to send her mum a huge air hug, which Ann sent back to her. They then spent the rest of the visit chatting and catching up on everything they had missed.
After the visit, Chris said: “It’s been so wonderful to see Mum again. It’s absolutely lovely because she looks so well and she’s been cared for so well by everyone here at Jubilee Court, from the housekeeping staff all the way to the manager. Everyone’s the same, they are a team. I have missed Mum but I have kept in contact. Every Monday I phone her, Tuesdays I send in a parcel for her with sweets and a book or a magazine, Thursdays I send a four-minute video for her and Friday I phone her again. When the Activity team show her the video, they send me an email afterwards to let me know how much she enjoyed it. They have been fantastic – they have kept Mum busy and she has been doing things that she has never done before.
Throughout this time, I have been so relaxed at home even though it’s been so long, as I know she has been loved and cared for. Not only Mum but all the residents. Jubilee Court have been brilliant and we have had great contact so I haven’t had to worry. You couldn’t wish for a better care home; they are marvellous”.
Ann said: “I miss Chris when I don’t see her, but I do see her on the video. I know that whatever she’s doing, she’s alright. It’s so lovely to see her and I am looking forward to seeing her again next week. I’ve been looked after really well and I’m very happy here but today has been the best day ever”.