‘Reunion pod’ helps residents see relatives safely during pandemic

The reunion hub at Fourways. Picture: Foruways Care Home

The reunion hub at Fourways. Picture: Foruways Care Home - Credit: Fourways Care Home

Visits to the Fourways Residential Home in Sidmouth have been greatly boosted by the creation of a special visiting hub.

Created specifically to help people during the current crisis, the new space is essentially a dedicated Garden Room cleverly designed to enable relatives to visit their loved ones safely during the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.

The ‘Reunion Pod,’ as residents have dubbed it, opened around two months’ ago and has been in use every day since.

Visitors pre-book their hour-long slot with Fourways and then go through a routine temperature check and track-and-trace process on arrival, shortly before the actual visit itself.

“There are separate entrances for residents and visitors who are able to, effectively sit side-by-side in a warm and comfortable space,” said Rachel Evans-White, the owner of Fourways.

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“The floor-to-ceiling transparent plastic divide that separates the two halves of the room means that it is completely safe, without risk of any Covid transmission.

The space has been designed to create the feeling that the visit is taking place in the same room. Communication is aided by an intercom and hearing loop.

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“Although modern technology allowed contact with relatives and friends via screens while we waited for this structure to gain planning permission, it cannot compare with face-to-face contact,” said Rachel.

“We are grateful for the understanding shown by all those who have had to wait for so long to have meaningful contact with our residents.

“However, now that it is in full operation, it is proving successful and we have received very positive comments from those who are using it.”

In the long term, now that a vaccine has been approved, it is expected that the pandemic will ease to the extent that there is no need for any such measures or personal protective equipment.

But, in the meantime, Rachel is delighted that the visiting hub, or Reunion Pod, is proving an invaluable source of comfort to both visitors and residents at Fourways.

To contact Fourways Residential Home, call 01395 513932 or email managers@fourways-sidmouth.co.uk or visit https://fourways-sidmouth.co.uk/

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