Ruthie Henshall reveals the deterioration she has seen with her mother in a nursing home due to the lockdown
Actress Ruthie Henshall explained the impact locking up expenses in a care home had on her mother during the lockdown while campaigning to make visits a legal right.
The 54-year-old actress spoke on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday when she described how her mother Gloria, 87, had deteriorated while staying at her nursing home.
Ruthie said, ‘Before she shut down, she walked and talked, had a whole conversation the day before my dad died.
“What else has she got than touch?” Ruthie Henshall, 54, spoke on GMB on Tuesday about her mother’s decline after living in a care home during lockdown – as she campaigns to make visits a ‘legal right’
‘When the restrictions were introduced, she was alone in her nursing home for four months … She couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk, her food had to be mashed, her drinks had to be thickened.
“You expect some kind of decline, but not that.”
Ruthie appeared on the show to talk about the Rights For Residents campaign group that wanted to pressure the government to make visits to nursing homes a legal right.
She said that as an essential caregiver, she currently has good access to her mother in her nursing home.
“But for others,” she said, “it’s a zip code lottery. Some care homes do not adopt guidelines for fear.
There for her: Ruthie is classified as an essential caregiver to her mother, which means she is allowed to visit her at her nursing home
‘Where are the human rights of the residents in my opinion? Some people haven’t seen their loved ones for 14 months. ‘
Ruthie also said she does not understand why caregivers are allowed to enter multiple patients’ rooms and then go home to see their families, but her sisters should not be with her mother for extended periods of time.
She said, “My sisters are visited for half an hour every three or four weeks. That makes no sense behind the screen, my mother has no idea what’s going on.
“I think I’m safer, going straight to my mom’s room… she needs touch. She can’t sleep, she can’t walk, she needs to be fed … what’s she got but touch?
“We all know, after being starved by human touch for over a year, we know how important it is.”
Together Again: As an essential caregiver, Ruthie said she now has access to her mother again
Despite her mother’s decline, Ruthie said she was told by caregivers at home that “ the light is on again ” in her mother’s eye after she was able to visit.
Naddra Ahmmed, the president of the National Care Association, also appeared on the show, saying that the wellbeing of nursing home residents was central to everything they do.
She said, ‘We follow the guidelines given to us, and if you read the guidelines, it is very clear that it rests on the shoulders of the health care provider to make sure all safety mechanisms are in place before they visit one.
“And I think most providers try to do that as much as possible.”
Speak to the MirrorRuthie also revealed that after becoming an essential caregiver, she took a before and after photo of the day she came in to visit her mother, and five weeks later.
Postcode Lottery: Despite being an essential caretaker to her mother, Ruthie said that not everyone is so happy and thus unable to visit their loved ones in care homes
She said her mother looked 10 years younger in the last photo.
At the beginning of this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a U-Turn on cruel rules that will force anyone who leaves the privacy of their care home to isolate alone for 14 days after returning.
As of Tuesday, the UK’s 400,000 healthcare residents will be able to travel outside with friends and family without having to isolate themselves afterwards.
They can visit a friend’s or family member’s yard, or walk in parks, public gardens, and beaches.
For many it is the first time in more than a year that they have left their care home. The amended guidelines also allow residents to vote in person in Thursday’s local elections.
This is not the first time that Ruthie has spoken out about visiting rights in care homes.
In February, she said she would “fight for the right” to see her dementia-stricken mother in her nursing home after a disturbing FaceTime phone call.
She said her mother Gloria, who is in her eighties, “never said a word or even smiled” during the phone call – while pledging to insist that people be allowed to visit elderly relatives in care homes during the shutdown.
Henshall told her followers on Twitter, ‘I had a FaceTime with my mom Gloria today. She didn’t say a word or even smile. I’m going to be on BBC news and ITV news this week to fight for the right to see my mom. ‘
Campaign: Ruthie appeared on Good Morning Britain in support of the Rights for Residents campaign group