The Malta Independent 7 May 2021, Friday

Protocols for relatives of people in elderly care homes to be addressed by 4 March – Minister

Jake Aquilina Saturday, 27 February 2021, 07:49 Last update: about 3 months ago

Protocols and directives for relatives of people who are in elderly homes will be released by 4 March since all elderly care homes would have received the recommended 90% vaccination, Minister for Senior Citizens and Active Ageing Michael Farrugia said.

This comes after Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne announced that measures at elderly people’s homes were to be eased.

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“One has to note that a person – when he receives the second dose – has around 10 to 15 days to build up enough antibodies to fight off the virus. The vaccination for the elderly is important so that they would have the possibility once again to hug their family members tightly,” Minister Farrugia told The Malta Independent.

He revealed that the first care home to benefit from easing of measure is San Vincenz since the 90% quota – elderly and carers who received full vaccination and 10 days have passed – has been reached. “So now, instead of letting family members talk to the elderly through the Perspex, we will remove that barrier, and slowly they will be meeting up with them.”

However, the minister vigilantly said that protocols will be issued; it won’t be a free for all for the relatives. “There will be protocols so that the elderly wouldn’t be invaded with a huge number of people at every time of the day. I appeal to the family members of the elderly to follow the orders that will be given with the protocols.”

“By 4 March, all of the elderly homes – including private ones – would have been vaccinated with the second dose, so then we will release the protocols and directions to those family members to notify them when they can start seeing their elderly without the Perspex and hug them. “

Asked whether people can take home their elderly parents or relatives, the minister said that discussions are ongoing with the Public Health regarding the elderly which can go out of the people’s homes. “This is why we are introducing protocols – we need to start one process after another.”

Regarding community activities, the minister said that once the vaccination of the elderly is finished, they would be able to open the centres for elderly people around Malta and Gozo. “In the meantime, the department for elderly activity is holding diverse processes of strategies which will lead us to the next years. There will be 5 pillars so that we will make the services that we provide to elderly better.”

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