A CARE home has created a ‘cuddle screen’ so its elderly residents can have a hug from visiting family and friends,

The screen at Vale House, in Sandford, Oxford, was built by head of home Lysbeth Weeks with help from her brother Andrew, a professor of medicine.

Ms Weeks said: “We designed it together. It is made from a very thick plastic and we hang it across the width of the room.

“Each person must put PPE on – with gowns, gloves, and a mask. Visitors will be on one side of the screen and the resident on the other.

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“Then they can put their arms through holes in the screen and hug each other.

Oxford Mail:

“When they are done we throw away the PPE and the curtain gets cleaned.” Yetske Lacey, the first resident to use the screen, said she was ‘thrilled’ to have a ‘cuddle’ after so long.

The home has made the screen for themselves, however, said they have ‘made a template’ which they are happy to share with other homes.

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Ms Weeks added: “The bit that is expensive is the waterproof PPE gowns as they are single-use, they are about £2 a go, which means each visit is £4, which we have to pay for.

Oxford Mail:

“That’s the ongoing cost. The thick plastic sheets are about £20 but are easy to detach and sterilise for reuse.”

Oxford Mail:

“Anyone is welcome to use it. Since March residents have not been able to have hugs from their relatives and it’s really hard, particularly if you’ve got dementia. It’s very difficult to understand why people aren’t hugging.

“It’s going to be a great addition for relatives and the residents. After seven months they are able to have a hug and give a hug!”