Care home families urged to seek support

People with loved ones living in MK care homes are being urged to ask for help if they are feeling the effects of being apart during lockdown.

Milton Keynes Council has teamed up with Willen Hospice to offer professional support to anyone who is experiencing feelings of isolation or loss due to current visiting restrictions, or if they have faced a bereavement due to Covid-19.

As the UK approaches a year since the pandemic took hold, the partners behind the service are urging people not to suffer in silence, and ask for help. Funded by the council, the support is completely free and confidential.

Nikki Jackson, Counsellor at Willen Hospice, said: “We know that care homes have been particularly affected by the lockdown, with tight restrictions imposed on visiting. The way people cope with emotions is very individual, and no one person will deal with it in the same way.

“We are encouraged to hear about the government’s plan for care homes in their route out of lockdown, but we know many people will continue to need support. Our experienced team can offer practical and emotional help in a range of ways tailored to you. This could be on the phone, via video call, on your own, or as part of a group. So whether you just want someone to talk to, or need a bit more support during this difficult time, please don’t think twice about asking for help.”

Cllr Hannah O’Neill, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “After almost a year of safety measures and restrictions, many families are struggling with separation from loved ones. Across MK, we know that those with loved ones in care homes are particularly impacted. This specialist service from Willen Hospice is so important to our local network of support for all those affected by the pandemic.”

To find out more about the separation, isolation and loss service, email carehomesupport@willen-hospice.org.uk or call 01908 663636. Anyone affected by a bereavement can also find some useful advice at http://www.willen-hospice.org.uk/bereavement The website also includes a live chat function, ‘GriefChat’, which is available between 9am and 9pm every day for those who would prefer to chat using a live messenger service.

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