Mum “elated” to be reunited with her son as care centre opens visitor ‘pods’

A mum from Market Deeping has spoken of her “elation” at being able to see her son again, thanks to new visitor ‘pods’ at a Peterborough care centre.

Prior to the lockdown, Jane Papadopoulos visited son Anthony, 38, every day at the Eagle Wood neurological care centre on Bretton Way in the city. But since the cold weather forced the cancellation of socially-distanced visits in the gardens of the centre, Jane hadn’t met her son for several weeks.

“It was so wonderful to see him!” she said. “I was a little nervous but so excited. The screen between us was so clean, Anthony couldn’t see it and was a bit confused as to why he couldn’t touch me.

“He looked so well. I’m thrilled!”

PJ Care commissioned the specially-designed pod to give families the chance to see their relatives in a Covid-safe environment.

Residents enter from one side and families from the other and they can see each other through a full height and width glass screen. An intercom offers clear communication and alongside sinks for hand-washing, visitors can make themselves a hot drink.

The surfaces have been carefully selected so the pod can be easily sanitised after every visit.

Jane spent an hour with Anthony and his carer, Tim, chatting through sign language and entertaining him with spinning toys and his favourite Disney characters.

A woman visiting her son in a COVID safe partitioned room at Eagle Wood care centre
Jane entertains Andrew with some of his favourite toys
“The enforced separation has been so hard,” said Jane. “They look after him extremely well at Eagle Wood, he couldn’t be anywhere better, but I can’t wait to be able to hug him.

“I’ve also missed the support I get from the staff.”

Eagle Wood provides specialist neurological care for adults with degenerative conditions such as dementia, Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. It also offers rehabilitation for people with acquired brain injuries.

Staff at the centre are tak

ing part in the Covid vaccination programme at Peterborough City Hospital and those residents who are able to receive it are also being offered the vaccine.

PJ Care chairman, Neil Russell, said he and the staff are delighted to be able to bring residents and families together again.

“Seeing Jane’s reaction has been amazing. We’re so thrilled to be able to offer this space to families.

“We know it’s not the physical contact they so badly want but it’s a step on from video calls and phone calls. The pod gives them somewhere warm and comfortable to see their loved ones, to give them a huge smile, to chat and for both to be reassured.”