Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Coronavirus: Isle of Wight care home reassures families

Dot Black, 96 (left) and Rita Griffin, 91 Image copyright St Vincents Retirement Home

Residents at a care home in "lockdown" have written signs to show families they are coping with the coronavirus outbreak.

St Vincents Retirement Home in Ryde, Isle of Wight, suspended all visits from relatives on Saturday.

Acting manager Jess McGovern said the residents, mostly former servicemen and women, were telling their families and care home staff not to worry.

She said: "Their advice to us has been: 'We were in the war and we survived.'"

Image copyright St Vincents Retirement Home
Image caption St Vincents Retirement Home is closed to visitors
Image copyright St Vincents Retirement Home
Image caption Some residents wrote that they missed their families while others said they would wave to them through a window on Mother's Day

Ms McGovern said she had organised the sign-writing to lift spirits at a "daunting and scary time".

'Happy with sugar sandwiches'

Some residents wrote that they were missing their loved ones while others said they were looking forward to waving to relatives through a window on Mother's Day.

Margaret Burnett, 96, said: "I do miss them... but we've got to keep the outside people at bay. Everyone here is very happy."

The manager said the "extremely strong-minded" veterans were telling staff not to worry about food shortages, although the home had sufficient supplies.

She said: "One put their hand on my shoulder and said: 'It's OK, we're quite happy with sugar sandwiches', which they ate during the war.

"Their message is: 'We fought tougher times than this. You'll beat this. Don't worry.'"

The government has issued advice to care homes on visits and other precautions.

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