ELDERLY residents have had long awaited reunions with their families, now that garden visits in this care home are now allowed.

Residents in Austen Care Home, Kilnsea Drive, Lower Earley, were allowed to see their families in the home's garden for the first time in weeks, due to the coronavirus lockdown rules.

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Care home staff ensured that all safety measures were adhered to, with residents and visitors maintaining social distancing and only meeting in the open space of the facility's garden.

Natasayi Dunira, General Manager at the home, said: “This has been a much welcomed development in what have been very strange times.

"The visits are safe and organised, and it was wonderful to see how happy it made the residents.

"We will of course endeavour to keep up the high standards of care, and continue with our ever evolving life enrichment programme, to keep residents engaged, but this was a lovely day.”

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Austen House Care Home, run by Barchester Healthcare, are welcoming new residents to the home, however there is a strict admission policy and infection control protocol that needs to have been adhered to before becoming a resident.

Joan, a resident at Austen House said: “The staff here have been so wonderful and generous with their time, keeping us busy and entertained, especially showing us how to use video calls, but nothing beats seeing my family in real life.

"This was a special moment, and I was over the moon.”