''It's taken its toll'': Families urge for face-to-face care home visits once again

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Charities have written to the government to allow care home visits for relatives in March.

There are suggestions from the government that face-to-face visits could resume at care homes once lockdown restrictions are eased. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson's expected to reveal his road map out of lockdown on Monday.

Terry Megeary from Hull says not being able to have any physical contact with his wife is taking its toll. His wife, Lynne has Alzheimers and went into a care home last summer.

His visits are restricted to once a week because of the threat from Covid-19. Lynne's condition has deteriorated considerably over the last year and Terry is hoping the separation from his wife is over soon.

"I know that she's not going to recognise us because so far, nothing. She doesn't recognise anybody, she doesn't know who she's smiling at.''

Lynne has been in a care home since last year. Credit: ITV News

There's a fear the isolation of lockdown on patients in care is having a damaging effect. Margaret McHugh, from the Alzheimer's Society, said it is affecting many people's health and wellbeing.

"For them, not understanding why somebody's not able to visit, why is somebody not coming to see me and they're standing outside the window and they can't come in, is really difficult, and the lack of social interaction really affects people's health and wellbeing."

Boris Johnson has faced some pressure from members of his own party to lift lockdown as soon as possible. Credit: PA

There have been calls care home visits to become a priority when the Prime Minister reveals his 'roadmap' for emerging from lockdown next week.

The social care minister, Helen Whately MP, said with the first dose of the vaccine now delivered to care home residents, restrictions on visits could be relaxed.