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Fuming. Covid in my Nan's care home

(81 Posts)
Whattodowhattodooo Tue 21-Apr-20 11:24:25

My mum has just had a letter from my 84 year old nans care home to say they have had 2 residents test positive. They have been on lockdown for the past 5 weeks so no visitors could have taken it in and there is no suggestion in the letter that any care workers have tested positive. "Solely residents affected". This begs the question "Where did it come from?" The only situation we can think of is that the residents have come from hospital. If this is is the case WHY weren't they tested prior to being released?? We know that you can be asymptomatic up to 14 days so surely they would have tested positive before symptoms showed?? I may be being completely unreasonable in my understanding of testing/transmission but my nan is now in the firing line. I am so angry and upset 😭

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thaegumathteth Tue 21-Apr-20 11:29:24

But a staff member could have been a symptomatic and brought it in surely?

rosiethehen Tue 21-Apr-20 11:31:48

Staff members still have to go to the shops etc. Deliveries still have to be made.

Why would you be angry? It's a virus, it's highly contagious and you're reacting in an irrational manner.

circusintown Tue 21-Apr-20 11:32:52

I'd assume staff member

okiedokieme Tue 21-Apr-20 11:35:12

Staff member, deliveries, dr/district nurse visiting ... lots of possibilities. Many people are not symptomatic and even if they test staff members they could be recovered

Gingercakeandtea Tue 21-Apr-20 11:35:36

At the care home my OH works in, they’ve decided home is in lockdown except for 1 resident who they opted it was in her best interests to allow her husband to visit. They’re putting her psychological welfare over everyone else’s safety - family of residents have not been informed.
Residents often have go to hospitals, and return, they might pick it up there.
Staff at the care home my mother works at are bullied and told they have to go in unless they’ve had a positive test. Symptoms can be mild, staff and agency workers might to be aware or sure they have got it and can’t afford not to work if they aren’t certain it’s Covid-19.

Gingercakeandtea Tue 21-Apr-20 11:38:14

Also, many dementia patients don’t understand or recall they’re meant to be isolating, often walk into others rooms and they do not have the power to lock them up.

GreenTulips Tue 21-Apr-20 11:38:29

They are sitting ducks unfortunately.

My grandmother is in a home and I’m dreading it.

Nobody would’ve done this on purpose. Nobody wants this to happen.

Mooey89 Tue 21-Apr-20 11:39:47

Firstly, I’m very sorry that you have this worry.
I am a social worker with older people and this is a very difficult subject.
Currently, we have a shortage of carers because they have to stay home and self isolate if they have other symptoms the same as everyone else, so there is a very high proportion of agency staff.
These staff will do shifts all over the place - the community, hospital, other care homes.
The carers will have children, who will be attending school as children of key workers, with other children of key workers (doctors/nurses/social workers)
I have been doing care home shifts because they are short. I have also done visits to people’s houses, some of whom are suspected COVID. We have PPE but it is not infalliable.

Secondly, sadly, we are using some of our care homes to help discharge people from hospital quicker. Suspected or confirmed COVID cases are being isolated but it’s very challenging in residential care, especially where there is a high proportion of people with dementia who don’t understand they need to stay in their rooms and two metres away!

Thirdly, with regards to testing. People in hospital are being tested. They may test positive but be discharged to a care home anyway because the hospital beds are needed.
They may test negative but the tests have a 30% false negative rate so it could be incorrect.

I’m sure the staff are doing all they can to keep residents safe, but I am very sorry for your worry.
Take care.

Teladi Tue 21-Apr-20 11:41:03

Try not to be fuming about this, it's going to be awful for everyone including the people working there.

My grandma is also in a home and is not symptomatic. They say they can't confirm if anyone is symptomatic but there appear to be more death notices in the paper than normal.

cookingmywaythroughlockdown Tue 21-Apr-20 11:44:49

Discharges are being tested now but there was a good month when they weren't. The national advice was to test if symptomatic only. Undoubtedly this has contributed to spread.

Whattodowhattodooo Tue 21-Apr-20 11:44:51

Thanks for the replies. I'm distraught which is probably exacerbated by my bloody day to anxiety (pre covid). All I can think of is that if she DOES get it and it kills her (underlying) I won't be able to say goodbye. My mum (daughter) has underlying and is shielding and my LO has asthma so is shielding too. She was the first person to hold me when I was born. She is my absolute world. The thought of it is ripping my heart out 😭

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MamaGee09 Tue 21-Apr-20 11:48:30

It’s in my grans nursing home too. Like your Nans home there have been no visitors for 5 weeks as it’s been in lock down, at present we know she is ok however according to the papers... home isn’t answering phone and if they do it’s obviously a pre written statement that’s getting read out, ..... there have been 9 deaths but no families have been informed about Coronavirus being in the home!

lubeybooby Tue 21-Apr-20 11:48:31

I'd assume asymptomatic staff member. The entire reason the virus spreads easily is the long incubation and some people being entirely without symptoms or so mild they don't suspect it

Haffdonga Tue 21-Apr-20 11:52:40

I'm really sorry. It sounds like your nan's care home is doing everything they can so the sick people will be kept well isolated from the others. flowers

With regards to testing, I think the tests only show positive when someone's actively fighting the infection so wouldn't necessarily show up when someone is asymptomatic. The antibody tests (which supposedly show if you've had it and are now recovered) are not yet reliable enough to be any use.

jessycake Tue 21-Apr-20 11:53:18

In my mums home too , everyday I wonder if today will be the day

Whattodowhattodooo Tue 21-Apr-20 11:55:31

Shes been having to stay to her room for the past week or so, which I thought was odd.... Not so much now we have received this letter 😔

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NK346f2849X127d8bca260 Tue 21-Apr-20 11:58:54

My adult dd is a care assistant in a nursing home, they have had a few cases but as far as i am aware residents have recovered. She works in a council run one and they seem to be very good at infection control, but dd lives in a house share and has to go shopping, she is obviously very aware of symptoms to look out for in herself but not sure what else can be done.

Trinpy Tue 21-Apr-20 12:12:22

We are in a similar position with my gran. She hasn't been able to leave her room in over a month now. I know it must be awful for her mental health because she is such a sociable person. I have been phoning her for a chat whenever I can, and the dcs have been making cards for her and writing her letters to keep her entertained. She is the most amazing woman, who I haven't seen since October (she doesn't live locally) and at 92 with underlying health complaints I doubt she would make it. The thought of her dying without us all there is horrible, but it is something I've had to make my peace with because it's a real possibility. I may not have said a proper goodbye but I have years of wonderful memories with her and I just have to accept whatever happens.

I don't expect you to magically feel the same way OP but this is how I am dealing with it.

AmelieTaylor Tue 21-Apr-20 12:17:28


The poor things really are like sitting ducks, it's dreadful. Can you push for her to get a test and if she's clear to come and stay with you?

Whattodowhattodooo Tue 21-Apr-20 12:29:11


Unfortunately that's not an option. She has frontal lobe dementia and when she's having a "bit of a dip" she can become quite violent. Once stabbed a DR in the abdomen with a nail file! 😲 When she's on top form she my lovely nan. When she has an episode she can be very nasty 😔

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MitziK Tue 21-Apr-20 12:30:48

5 weeks + 1 day = somebody visits their GF.

5 weeks = place locked down

3 weeks + 1 day = GF is noticed to be a little shorter of breath, but no cough, temperature or feeling worse than usual. Might be that he hasn't been so active recently.

2 weeks + 4 days = GF's best mate in the home is a little shorter of breath and has coughed a bit. But he's smoked from the age of 14, so always has a chesty cough first thing. No other symptoms.

2 weeks = both have a temperature and their breathing is getting worse. No chance of hospitalisation, as they're too old, but manager calls, emails, argues and refuses to let her residents be ignored.

1 week ago = testing is (reluctantly) agreed to. Residents are asked to stay in their rooms.

Couple of days ago = test results come back.
Manager decides it's time to let the families know.

Today = random relative goes ballistic and blames the care home for something that probably came in the day before they locked down (and were likely still dealing with relatives angry that they can't visit at the time).

There's no point blaming the staff for something that is in a typical timeframe for transmission. Of course you're upset. But blaming the staff isn't going to help you or anybody else feel better.

Whattodowhattodooo Tue 21-Apr-20 12:33:54


Thanks for this. It was my fear that hospitals are discharging to make beds free. Which is odd when you look at various other threads from front line workers claiming their hospitals are empty and so quiet 🙄

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GreenTulips Tue 21-Apr-20 12:36:38

Shes been having to stay to her room for the past week or so, which I thought was odd....

What? My GM has been in her room for five weeks already

Why so late? What were they doing before?

Whattodowhattodooo Tue 21-Apr-20 12:38:15


To be fair to me I haven't once blamed the staff. I'm fuming at (my albeit wild assumption) that patients are being discharged from hospital into care homes for the purpose of freeing up beds, and the notion that is "Well, they are old and ill anyways". I fully understand that difficult decisions must be made in these unprecedented times, but as another posted mentioned it feels as if our elderly relatives are "sitting ducks". I must mention that this is the first time that Covid MAY affect me personally, and I'm not dealing with it very well. Clearly!

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