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Care home dealing with Norovirus

(13 Posts)
mrsmalcolmreynolds Sat 02-Feb-19 20:25:16

Hi - by way of background my DM lives a suite (living room with kitchenette plus bed and bath) in a residential home 10 mins from us. She has a variant of Alzheimer's (posterior cortical atrophy) stage 4/5 and struggles increasingly with quite a few everyday tasks (anything involving orientation and coordinated perception, including dressing). She is very independently minded though, still goes for a daily walk which is very important to her.

We are having a particularly rough time this week as the home has had multiple cases of Noro. It's been no visitors for about ten days (which has happened before) but since Tues they've been on total lock down - asking residents to keep to their rooms, meals taken round and dining room shut, full cleaning of soft furnishings multiple times a day etc. DM is really distressed as she can't go for her walks and it also feeds into a fear she has about loss of autonomy.

I suppose I would just like to know whether these methods are typical/necessary in this situation? I don't have any reason to think they're not, but DM is distraught and I just want to be as sure as I can that it has to be this way.

tablelegs Sat 02-Feb-19 20:29:47

Yes it has to be that way to contain the virus.

PorpentinaScamander Sat 02-Feb-19 20:29:59

The home I work in usually only has the affected residents on room lock down.

PorpentinaScamander Sat 02-Feb-19 20:30:40

Having said that I'm not sure we've ever had a noro outbreak. We had flu last year.

NorthernLurker Sat 02-Feb-19 20:32:06

Yes they're right. I know it's hard. I work in a hospital and we are in the midst of the worst noro outbreak I've known. It's absolutely virulent, definitely worse than normal.

NorthernLurker Sat 02-Feb-19 20:33:16

We've banned visitors except in exceptional circumstances, opened two areas cos they seemed to be passed it, closed them again with new cases 24 hours later.

AmICrazyorWhat2 Sat 02-Feb-19 20:41:39

Your poor Mum, that sounds horrible.

I have no direct experience of this, but I do see their point that the only way to contain the virus is to keep people away from each other and deep clean the communal areas. sad

Fortysix Sat 02-Feb-19 23:19:12

I’ve seen this happen in my DM’s last two care homes. Very difficult all round. Can you speak to her by telephone and FaceTime?

wigglypiggly Sun 03-Feb-19 11:34:25

It sounds sensible to close dow, noro can have serious consequences for frail and elderly people.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Sun 03-Feb-19 12:25:42

Thank you to all for responses - it's a grim situation but confirmation that it really needs to be this way is something.

Fortysix - I can and do phone her but it's not great quality communication. She finds conversation on the phone quite difficult because its an extra processing requirement (which is a big challenge) and also the mechanical act of using the phone (locating it, getting the receiver orientated right etc) is increasingly tricky. So it's a matter of balancing the benefit she gets from a conversation against the stress and distress of using the phone. sad

Fortysix Sun 03-Feb-19 13:02:47

Absolutely get the balancing act with phone use. It's not easy to keep them occupied in their own space when they feel the need to be on go. Would a Sound of Music or West Side Story CD or film keep her in her room happily?

mrsmalcolmreynolds Sun 03-Feb-19 13:37:10

She's given up on the TV - was finding it more and more difficult to operate so wrote it off which is a bit of a pattern (and material for a whole other thread which I won't start now!). She does have a simple to use radio and I also got a music player that operates just by opening a lid. Those help a bit but happily would be a massive overstatement!

Myimaginarycathasfleas Sun 03-Feb-19 19:47:38

My DM's care home had a D&V bug last winter and they were on lockdown for a couple of weeks. They had to be symptom free clear for 48 hours before they would allow visitors back in. What's more my mother's CPN cancelled our review meeting because the home had only been clear for 44 hours at that point and she couldn't risk taking infection into other homes. It's a normal precaution but it won't go on for much longer.

You could contact the home and see what they've added to their entertainment program to help keep everybody engaged.

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