Older people and vulnerable adults who live in residential care facilities must not be
left behind as Covid-19 public health restrictions are relaxed, Sage Advocacy has
The national organisation -which provides advocacy and support services to older
people, adults who may be vulnerable and healthcare patients - has said as current
restrictions in general are eased across the country, then everyone in society must
benefit including nursing home residents who have been disproportionately impacted
Sarah Lennon, Executive Director of Sage Advocacy, said no one has underestimated the threat that Covid-19 posed to older people and adults who may be
vulnerable and who live in a congregated care environment such as nursing homes.
Ms Lennon said: “The epidemiology of recent Covid-19 outbreaks in nursing homes
underlines the transmissibility of the omicron variant.
“However, there is some reassurance that despite the increase in outbreaks the
vaccination programme has ensured that the majority of residents, who tested
positive in this wave, have not become seriously ill due to Covid-19.
“Sage Advocacy acknowledges that nursing home providers, their teams of staff and
public health bodies have worked extremely hard to safeguard the health of
“But it is vitally important that nursing home providers continue to manage the
ongoing risk of infection from Covid-19 while protecting and respecting the rights of
residents to maintain meaningful relationships with people who are important to
Ms Lennon said some members of Sage Advocacy’s Nursing Home Residents –
Family Forum have reported that some nursing home providers have implemented
no visiting rules because of the high incidence of the omicron variant in their local
She said: “This completely removes a nursing home residents’ choice – they have no
voice in this process if nursing home providers decide to implement their own set of
restrictions regardless of HSE/HPSC guidance.”
Sage Advocacy believes that if the Government eases current Covid-19 public health
restrictions in general then older people and adults who may be vulnerable, who live
in residential care facilities must also benefit from the change in direction.
Ms Lennon said: “As a country we cannot discriminate against older people and
adults who may be vulnerable.
“As the Government moves in general to lift Covid-19 restrictions, then a situation
cannot develop where someone can order a pint at midnight but some of the 32,000
people who live in nursing homes in this country cannot maintain meaningful
relationships with the people who are important to them.”