Learn about the coronavirus (COVID-19) safeguards when going to see someone in an adult care home.
Care homes have a range of protections against coronavirus including:
These protections mean care home residents and their loved ones can have more regular time together.
Open with Care guidance supports meaningful contact between residents and loved ones. This guidance will be followed in care homes in all but exceptional circumstances.
This guidance is based on the best available advice from a wide range of clinical and professional experts. Family and friends of care home residents have also contributed to the guidance.
As we learn more about coronavirus, advice may change.
Visiting loved ones in care homes more often, and for longer
Care homes have been working towards increasing people’s time together. With the move to level 0 across Scotland, residents’ contact with loved ones should continue to become more normal.
Seeing loved ones at the care home
Please speak to the care home about the level of visiting they are able to support safely. They’re likely to be moving towards daily visits or family groups. The number of visitors will be in line with wider coronavirus restrictions around meeting indoors and practical factors in the care home. From level 0 there is no need to have a named ‘designated visitor’ because residents’ contact should be getting closer to normal.
Visits may take place indoors or outdoors and should be arranged in advance with the care home.
Garden and window visits in and around care homes might continue, depending on each resident’s wishes.
Outings and activities away from the care home
Additional guidance on activities and outings away from the care home is now available. Care homes should support outings and activities that take place away from the home, but there still might be times when these aren’t possible. Reasons might include if there is a coronavirus outbreak in the care home.
Residents might wish to meet people outdoors, away from the care home. This could include:
- going for a walk
- meeting in a public place like a park or café
- staying overnight with family
These should generally be supported unless there’s a good reason to be more cautious.
Outings will be a big change for many people, and care homes also have to consider any risks to staff and residents. Residents, family and friends who want to plan outings or activities should work together with the care home team in advance.
The frequency and duration of contact should increase gradually. The Open with Care guidance is there to provide examples of how care homes can enable safe and meaningful visits, while being flexible.
Residents can take car trips out as long as they follow safety guidelines and use infection prevention and control measures.
It’s also possible for residents to visit other people in their homes or have overnight stays away (in the resident’s own home or someone else’s home).
Care home residents are subject to the same coronavirus guidance as everyone else when it comes to meeting people indoors and outdoors, in public places or private homes. These restrictions change depending on local protection levels.
If you’re spending time with a resident outside of a care home, you should follow all coronavirus physical distancing, safety guidelines and the latest government advice.
Even if you’re planning to meet outdoors, anyone experiencing coronavirus symptoms, or symptoms of any other illness, should not meet up with care home residents.
Before spending time with a care home resident, please speak to the care home about whether you should take a coronavirus test in your own home or at the care home.