A girl has advised an inquiry how she and her household felt they had been “shedding” their relationship with their late mom because of “inconsistent” restrictions in place for visiting care properties throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kirstin Duncan, a member of Care Dwelling Family members Scotland, advised the Scottish Covid-19 Inquiry the connection she and her siblings had with their mom, June Scott, was “crumbling” because of restrictions on care house guests in late 2020.
She additionally advised the inquiry how she needed to plead with care house workers to go to her mom when she was in end-of-life care in early 2021.
Mrs Scott had a number of well being issues together with vascular dementia, which meant the household had “no selection” however to put her in a care house in 2019, the inquiry heard.
Earlier than the pandemic in March 2020, her household had been in a position to go to the care house at any time when they favored and had been “welcomed with open arms” by workers.
However issues modified on March 13, 2020 when Mrs Duncan’s sister phoned the care house to rearrange a go to however was advised by workers to not come.
Over the following 9 months, Mrs Duncan mentioned she and her family members had “no significant contact” with their mom all through the rest of her life within the care house. She died in March 2021.
She mentioned: “The entire of her was depending on a purpose to dwell.
“Once we had been allowed in after which that might be constantly taken away from us, all that was doing was disrupting an already crumbling relationship.
“We had been truly shedding the connection together with her.
“However regardless of all that, she would nonetheless recognise us after we did handle to get shut sufficient.”
She advised the inquiry in a written assertion that her household felt this had an influence on her psychological and bodily well being.
There have been cycles of “lengthy gaps” between instances the place it was or was not attainable to see her, Mrs Duncan advised the inquiry, and there have been lengthy delays with steering for visits being issued to care properties and them being carried out.
The household took exception with a welfare report written by the care house saying Mrs Scott “loved backyard visits” in October 2020, with Mrs Duncan saying she and her sister had agreed these had been extremely demanding for his or her mom.
Senior counsel to the inquiry Alan Caskie KC requested Mrs Duncan why she disputed the report.
She mentioned: “It began with saying she loved her backyard visits.
“My sister’s account, my brother’s account and my very own account was that these visits within the backyard and those in her room in October had been so demanding for her and that we weren’t going to do it any longer, we weren’t going to place her by means of it.
“So that you had this, ‘sure it’s alright’ within the report, and the fact.”
Mr Caskie requested Mrs Duncan if the report was like the previous each day newspaper of the Soviet Union, Pravda, saying it “would all the time put a constructive spin on every thing”.
He requested: “Is that was this was?”
Agreeing, Mrs Duncan mentioned: “(It was) an unbelievably constructive spin.
“We hadn’t been consulted on this.”
Mrs Duncan mentioned the visits to her mom’s care house had been “harrowing” for Mrs Scott, particularly on Christmas Day 2020 when her kids, grandchildren and great-grandchildren visited within the care house backyard however had been solely in a position to see her by means of a window on what was to be her final Christmas.
Mrs Duncan mentioned she was given “important go to” standing however she advised the inquiry these would happen in an “interview”-style room and never her mom’s personal bed room, which was distressing for Mrs Scott as she must be hoisted from someplace the place she was comfy and positioned in a wheelchair and moved to the room.
Mrs Scott didn’t all the time recognise relations because of the PPE they had been sporting.
On the finish of her proof, Mrs Duncan emphasised that the Scottish Authorities needed to “enshrine” the standing of important caregiver in Scots regulation and may present significant contact for family members in care properties.
The inquiry, happening earlier than Lord Brailsford in Edinburgh, continues.