'Visitor pods' provide welcome boost for care homes in time for Christmas

A care home in Powys has become one of the first in Wales to receive a new temporary 'visitor pod', thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.

Wylesfield residential care home in Llandrindod Wells provides accommodation for 27 residents including people with dementia.

97-year-old Rosina Mayer has lived there for almost a year.

This week she, along with her son Richard, became the first resident to experience the new pod, describing it as "super".

Her son Richard Mayer, said it made "a huge difference" to the "draughty, make-shift gazebo" they were used to meeting in.

Rosina, who will soon have 12 great-grandchildren, described the new pod as "super" Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The pod is designed to give care homes extra space to facilitate visits safely and comfortably.

It's heated, with a perspex screen in between visitors, and families can book a slot online or over the phone.

The care home's Service Manager Lowri Owen said the pod would hopefully be able to "give everybody the boost they need" before Christmas.

Last month the Welsh Government announced a £3 million pilot project to help care homes procure, install and lease out around a hundred pods.

The funding also includes £1m for plans to support providers who have made their own arrangements on a similar, rental basis for a period of up to six months.

It's hoped the pods can help families to visit loved-ones during the winter months; something Simon Kezic-Williams, Regional Operations Director for Shaw Healthcare, says is vital for everyone.

"This means we can manage visiting safely and effectively for relatives to be able to visit their loved ones and spend some quality time with them through let's face it what's been a really, really difficult time for people this year", he said.

Deputy Minister for Health and Social Care, Julie Morgan, said "the arrival of these care home visiting pods will help some of our most vulnerable people safely spend valuable time with family and friends."