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Fun, Games And Silliness / Re: Movies and Actors
« Last post by Lost Soul on Today at 12:47:38 PM »
Anthony Hopkins

I'm A Celeb fans fear Hollie Arnold will be first star axed in brutal elimination

EXCLUSIVE: I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! viewers have voted Hollie Arnold as the first star to be eliminated from Gwrych Castle in a brand new Mirror Online survey

By Brogan-Leigh Hurst Showbiz Reporter

02:06, 27 NOV 2020Updated03:14, 27 NOV 2020

I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! fans fear Paralympian Hollie Arnold will be the first star to get axed from the show.  The new series has only been on screens for just over one week, but it's set to cause chaos as Friday night will see the first elimination of the show's 20th season.  A survey held by Mirror Online revealed that 32% of fans think that Hollie won't be on the reality show for much longer.  She received a total of 3,359 votes as the first star to be booted off the gruelling competition.  Former Strictly star AJ Pritchard is shortly behind her in second place.  The ballroom dancer received 1,276 responses and 12% of the vote for him to be kicked out of Gwrych Castle after Hollie.  The results show new campmate Ruthie Henshall, former EastEnders star Jessica Plummer and ex-soap star Shane Richie in joint third place.  However with a total of 1,027 responses, Ruthie is more likely to be the third star to get axed by the public vote, according to our data.  Victoria Derbyshire, Beverley Callard and Giovanna Fletcher have landed themselves in a safe place as 5% of viewers voted for them as fourth.  But the journalist is less safe than the rest of her co-stars as she received 562 votes, which puts her at a higher risk of being booted off sooner than Beverley, with 502 votes, and Giovanna, with 499.  Russell Watson, Sir Mo Farah, Vernon Kay and Jordan North are the most likeable stars suggesting one of them could be crowned the winner.  It appears 3% of viewers voted for the boys to be the fifth star to leave the show.  Jordan is the most safe out of Russell and Mo as he only has 325 votes, whereas Russell has 350 and Mo has 346.  Vernon Kay is the least likely star to be eliminated as he comes out safe at the bottom of the results.  Only 2% of fans voted for the TV presenter to go out, which suggests they like his bubbly character.
That's cruel and there should be far more empathy  :bash:
Fun, Games And Silliness / Movies and Actors
« Last post by PippaJane on Today at 12:25:18 PM »
This is simple - name a film then the next person names an actor who has been in the fiim then another movie is named that the actor has been in then another actor and so on.  I'll start with ....

Silence of the Lambs

Teen crushed by forklift chooses to have half his body amputated so he can live

Loren Schauers watched as the four tonne vehicle rolled on to him, exploding his arm and crushing his body underneath. He then chose to have the amputation in a desperate bid to stay alive

By Kelly-Ann Mills & Charlotte Penketh-King

13:19, 23 NOV 2020Updated14:25, 23 NOV 2020

A teenager who survived a horrific forklift accident has defied the odds to survive after having the lower half of his body amputated.  Loren Schauers was driving a forklift across a bridge when he veered off, plummeted 50ft and was pinned to the ground beneath the four tonne vehicle.  The 19-year-old remained conscious throughout and remembers looking down to see his right arm had exploded and everything below his hips was completely squashed.  The young labourer made the brave decision to let medics perform hemicorperectomy surgery where everything below his waist was amputated to save his life.  Doctors told his devastated girlfriend Sabia Reiche, now 21, he wouldn't survive, and she said goodbye to him six times, fearing he wouldn't live another day.  But miraculously he pulled through.  The pair had only been together for 18 months when the accident happened but said the turmoil brought them closer together, and they got engaged this year.  Loren, from Great Falls, Montana, in the USA, said: "I watched as the forklift fell on top of me and crushed my body.  Every medical professional I come across is pretty amazed by everything, especially with the story that comes along with my injuries.  It wasn't a hard choice to have half of my body amputated it was basically a choice of living or dying, it really wasn’t a hard choice for me."

Loren was working as a labourer on a construction site during a bridge rehabilitation job in September 2019.  He was driving a forklift over a highway bridge outside of Wilsal, Montana, when cars started illegally passing him in through the traffic lights.  The single lane was dramatically narrowed and as one car passed him, Loren veered too close to the bridge edge and the ground crumbled beneath him.  He attempted to jump from the falling forklift but his leg got trapped by the seatbelt, swinging him from the machinery as it plummeted 50ft down a steep hill.  The forklift rolled three times down the hill before Loren hit the ground at the bottom of the hill and the forklift landed on top of him, crushing his body.  Loren said: "As the edge of the bridge collapsed and the forklift started to tip up, I unbuckled my seatbelt and went to jump out.  I now know that was the wrong idea but it was just fight or flight.  The seatbelt ended up wrapping around my leg as I jumped out so I actually swung out instead and broke one of my ribs off the floorboard of the forklift.  "I tried staying on top of the forklift as much as I could as it rolled and then I was thrown from the forklift at the end of the hill once it finally landed.  I was conscious the whole time. My eyes were wide open and I saw the forklift come down and land on my hips and my right forearm."

Loren said: "They thought my lower extremities were still salvageable.  The doctors tied off my main veins down below and took scans of my body to see what state it was in there and they realised my pelvis had completely crumbled.  I was transferred to Seattle, Washington, by mercy flight where they first performed a surgery leaving my right hip, genitalia, and left thigh.  Once they had also seen the state of my pelvis, that’s where it was then deemed that I’d need a hemicorporectomy surgery.  They then tried saving my sperm with my consent but it turned out to not be viable."

Doctors told Sabia and his family to say their goodbyes.  Sabia said: "There were many heartfelt, teary, sad conversations within the span of the first month of him being in hospital.  The night before his surgery, he wrote 'I love you' on a piece of paper as it could have been our last night together. I still have that piece of paper today.  There were plenty of times that the doctors told us that he was probably going to die, so we had these really long 'I love you' and everything like that conversations.  The doctors would say he was going to die, we'd have a goodbye conversation and then he wouldn't die.  It sucked, to put it blatantly, we hated it. His health was teasing us, like 'haha we're fine now but going to die soon so you'll all be sad', but then he lived."

One month after his accident, Loren was transferred to a hospital back in Montana so family could visit, because doctors still believed he would die.  But his health started to improve at an incredible speed.  Doctors had believed that he would be in hospital for at least a year and a half but he stayed for three months, before four weeks rehab, and then he was home.  Loren has taught himself how to put on his 'bucket' prosthetic and get into his wheelchair without any help.  Sabia said: "Throughout it all, Loren has been super innovative in order to make himself as independent as possible.  Any time an obstacle presents itself in our new life, he just finds any way around it and comes up with a wild solution that a 'normal' abled person wouldn't normally think of.  If I was in his position, I'd probably just be a wallowing self pit of pity.  So many people handle these things so differently and I feel like he's really beat all odds, both mentally and physically."

Loren said: "I have a very simple life now compared to what it used to be. There's a lot more laying around than before.  It was about three months after the accident that I finally wrapped my head around how crazy and miraculous it really is for me to be alive.  We want to travel the world first and then have some kids and teach them to be better people than we are, so a pretty simplistic life.  I proposed to Sabia earlier this year when she was freaking out from having a bad day.  I waited for her to turn around then pulled out the ring and just waited for her to notice it in my hand before asking if she’d marry me.  My best advice to anyone going through something like this is that you can't focus on the things you can't have and you must live your life to the fullest with what you do have."

Man arrested over murder after teacher, 47, attacked at her home along with teenage boy

Paul Robson, 49, was held near Glasgow, Scotland, on suspicion of murder after an attack on English teacher Caroline Kayll, 47, and a boy, 15, in Linton, Northumberland

By Jeremy Armstrong

08:45, 21 NOV 2020

A man has been arrested after a teacher was murdered at her home and a teenager was seriously assaulted.  Paul Robson, 49, was held near Glasgow, Scotland, on suspicion of murder on Friday.  The arrest came after an attack on English teacher Caroline Kayll, 47, and a boy, 15, at an address in the village of Linton, Northumberland.  At about 8.55pm on Nov 15, Northumbria police received a report that Ms Kayll and the teenager had been assaulted inside the address.  Ms Kayll died in hospital while the teenager, who was not related to her, suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries.  On Thursday, police released details of Robson and said he was wanted in connection with the attack.  Those enquiries focused in Glasgow and now police have confirmed that Robson has been arrested near to the city.  He remains in police custody at this time.  Supt Paul Milner, of Northumbria Police, said: “In recent days our officers have been carrying out enquiries across the region and north of the border.  Those enquiries have now led to the arrest of Paul Robson on suspicion of Caroline’s murder and the serious assault of a teenage boy.  We want to reassure the public that this was an isolated incident and at no point were they at risk.  Enquiries into the circumstances leading up to this attack will continue but we would ask the public to avoid speculation.  This is a live murder investigation and it is an incredibly difficult time for Caroline’s family and the teenage boy injured in the attack.  They will continue to receive our full support while we would ask anyone who has information that could assist our investigation to get in touch.”

Tributes to Caroline poured in online, with one parent writing on Facebook: “My son's English teacher, needless to say he's devastated. Our deepest condolences to her family and friends.”

Another woman posted: “RIP beautiful lady. Such a tragedy, Caroline was an amazing lady.”

Another wrote “Devastated to hear this. RIP Caroline. Thinking of your family and friends.”

One tribute described her death as “horrendous and awful” adding: “A 47 year old lady has been robbed of her life. My thoughts go to family and friends.”

At Atkinson House School, for pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental health issues in Seghill, Northumberland, a spokesperson said: “Our school community is saddened to hear the news of Caroline’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this very difficult time.”

A 58-year-old man arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender has since been released under investigation.

Anyone who believes they may be able to assist police is asked to report online at the Northumbria Police website quoting log 421 19/11/20.

You can also call police on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Great-grandmother with dementia, 78, who is being EVICTED from her care home over 'unauthorised' patio door visit 'almost died' from Covid and has not seen her daughter for 46 days

    Elizabeth Bow has been ordered to leave Aspen Hill Village care home in Leeds over the 'unauthorised' visits
    Daughter says she and siblings had always visited with staff permission before suddenly being told to stop 
    Said: 'My mum is being punished because I love her and want to visit her I feel like she's been abandoned'
    Are you battling to see your loved one who is stuck in a care home? Contact 

By Rory Tingle For Mailonline

Published: 08:47, 17 November 2020 | Updated: 18:04, 17 November 2020

A great-grandmother who is being evicted from her care home after having an 'unauthorised' visit through an open patio door with her police officer daughter had nearly died from Covid-19.  Elizabeth Bow, 78, who also has dementia, has been ordered to leave Aspen Hill Village in Leeds after bosses accused her 53-year-old daughter, Denise Hobbs, of not adhering to its 'visiting policy'.  Ms Bow contracted the virus in April and 'almost died' according her daughter, and was hospitalised and placed on oxygen.  Her family had already started planning a funeral for the retired nurse but she managed to pull through.  But now, she is being evicted from her care home after Ms Hobbs made window visits to check in on her after her illness, and the great-grandmother has not seen her family for 46 days.  It is the latest harrowing example of the devastating impact restrictions on care home visits are having on families, which has prompted ministers to vow to allow in-person visits by Christmas backed up by a testing regime.  Care home residents have been barred from meaningful contact with their families for the past eight months because of coronavirus restrictions. The rules have left them unable to hug their relatives or even hold hands.Instead they have been reduced to waving at husbands, wives, sons or daughters through a window or plastic screen. Others have depended on 'drive-through' visits and some haven't been able to see their loved ones at all.  Ms Hobbs today said she was 'heartbroken' that her mother had been ordered to leave, and felt terrified about having to find her a new home in the midst of a pandemic.  My mum is being punished because I love her and want to visit her,' she told MailOnline. 'I feel like she's been abandoned.'

Ms Bow was badly ill with dementia earlier and has also beaten cancer.   Ms Bow is a great-grandmother of 12 who worked as a nurse in her native Scotland and later as a carer in Scarborough.  She had an illness earlier this year and was moved to Aspen Hill Care home in April, and during the early stages of the pandemic, Ms Hobbs and her four siblings would visit every day.  We didn't take advantage and it was all with the blessing of the staff,' she said. 'We did what we were told which was that we could take 10 of 15 minutes per visit.'

But Ms Bow then caught the deadly virus and her family feared the worst.  Ms Hobbs said: 'She was really, really unwell. I'd said beforehand that 'if mum gets coronavirus that will be it for her' but thank god I was wrong.  She's an incredibly strong person and that's why she pulled through. Mum has also had cancer and a stroke but she's survived the lot, I think she'll outlive all of us to be honest.  Going through all that to end up at a place where she is being evicted from her home is heartbreaking.'

On September, Leeds moved to Tier 3 status, meaning visits were restricted further.  Ms Hobbs could only speak to her mother occasionally while she was dropping items off, and said staff remained supportive of this arrangement.  But on October 4, she arrived for an unsolicited visit and seeing the patio door open went towards it.  When they saw her, nurse and senior carer who were in the room said she would have to leave.  I burst into tears and asked 'is she a prisoner now?' because she hadn't been out for 39 days,' she recalled.

'I asked them to put mum in a wheelchair and bring her to the gate, so I would be on the outside and she was on the inside.  But they said that was against the rules as well.'

More than two weeks later, on October 20, Ms Hobbs said she received the devastating news her mother would be evicted.  'The phone call came completely out of the blue,' she said.

The original eviction date was set for today, but Ms Hobbs said the care home had agreed to give her more time to find a new place for her mother to live.  She said: 'I was seeing my mum practically every day before and now not at all.  I'm concerned at how quickly her condition will deteriorate without the stimulation she usually gets. I'm scared that next time we see each other she won't recognise me.'

Aspen Hill Village insist her family had been repeatedly warned about unauthorised visits.  But she angrily denied this and said she had always acted with the consent of staff.  'It's absolutely appalling,' she said. 'They've said that we were repeatedly told, but that is wrong.'

The tearful daughter accused the care home of a 'revenge eviction after she complained on Facebook about the way it was treating residents but its director strongly denied this.  Ms Hobbs thanked the support of charity Care Campaign for the Vulnerable, which campaigns for safer care, and its founder Jayne Connery.  She is also calling for an independent review of every care home eviction.   She said: 'We can't go and visit these homes and check them out.  I wouldn't put a dog in a kennel without going to see it first and I'm expected to put my mum in a home I've never seen.  It's an injustice and not fair on her, she's done nothing wrong.'

Aspen Hill Village said in a statement that the family had 'repeatedly' breached its visiting policy, adding: 'The resident was asked to leave because her family refuses to comply with our visiting policy  We appreciate that restrictions placed on visiting is exceptionally difficult for our residents and their loved ones.  However, we have a duty of care to ensure the safety of all our residents and to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus into our homes. This requires us to follow government guidance which restricts visiting.'

The care home 'categorically refuted' any claims it was a revenge eviction.  In-person visits are banned under current rules, leaving thousands of families unable to touch their loved ones since the start of the pandemic in March.  Families can often only see relatives through plastic screens, although some homes allow garden or drive-by visits. The form these distanced visits are allowed to take is decided by local councils and individual care homes.  On Monday, Heath Secretary Matt Hancock announced that care homes will finally be able to allow in-person visits over Christmas by testing relatives for Covid-19.   The Government is piloting rapid testing in 20 care homes in low-infection areas in Hampshire, Devon and Cornwall to see if it is safe to let family members visit vulnerable residents indoors.  Mr Hancock said, if effective, he plans to expand the programme across England within weeks. In a round of interviews this morning, the Health Secretary said: 'I hope to have that in place for all care homes by Christmas.'

The move would finally allow families to visit loved ones in the flesh without the need for 'prison-like' windows for the first time in eight months.  The pilot will aim to assess whether indoor visits must still be socially distanced or whether relatives will be able to hug for the first time in months.  The trial schemes will use both standard PCR tests or new lateral flow tests, which give results within minutes but miss between half and 25 per cent of cases.  Relatives and campaign groups have warned for months that the current rules have taken a catastrophic toll on the wellbeing of vulnerable residents.  There have been numerous reports of elderly people in care homes rapidly deteriorating both mentally and physically as a result of being isolated since March.  Mr Hancock said he hoped to have testing for care home visitors in place for all care homes in England 'by Christmas', with the pilot currently taking place in 20 homes.  But he stressed the final decision on whether to allow visits would fall on the shoulders of individual care homes and local councils.  During an appearance on BBC Radio 4's Today programme today, Mr Hancock listened as one man described how visits to his wife's care home in Hampshire had been severely restricted, impacting on her dementia.  Michael Blackstad told how coronavirus guidelines at his wife Trisha's care home was making her situation a 'nightmare'.  He said his wife's Alzheimer's had become 'very far advanced' but the only visitors she was allowed were care home staff dressed in personal protective equipment.  Mr Blackstad, who has Parkinson's, said: 'She was always a lively articulate person.  (Now) she stands, she fidgets, her head is bowed. She's basically got this form of dementia which means she doesn't like sitting down.  That makes it a nightmare being in a single room it is like being stuck in a hotel room for three weeks without being able to go out. It's just awful.'

Mr Blackstad said the care home was planning to put in a visiting facility that he described as being 'rather like a prison', with Perspex screens from 'floor to ceiling' and speakerphones, but only once there were no more Covid cases at the centre.  Responding to the interview, Mr Hancock described the situation as 'heartbreaking' and 'really difficult'.  He added: 'I know this from personal circumstances as well in terms of members of my own family who are in the same sort of situation. It is very difficult.  The problem is that we know when this virus gets into care homes, we know that people in care homes are particularly vulnerable to it and it runs rife, and so we both need to protect people from the virus but also do that in as a humane a way as possible, and we know the impact on people's health, let alone everything else, on not being able to see visitors.'

More than 20,000 care home residents died from Covid-19 during the first wave of the pandemic, in part because asymptomatic workers were allowed to freely move between care homes without being tested for the disease.  Experts say homes employing bank staff, who work at more than one facility, were more at risk from the coronavirus because it provided an opportunity for the disease to jump from an infected home into others.  But they are now required to ask staff to sign 'exclusive' contracts barring them from working in more than one home.  Care home operators have been critical about the amount of support they have received from the Government.  Lakshmy Pengelly, who owns Ashley Court Care home in Llanelli said her local authority had not issued guidelines on visits despite Wales coming out of lockdown two weeks ago.  'We were asked to wait for our local authority to issue guidelines on visitation,' she told MailOnline. 'To this day, they haven't issued any guidelines. We have sent e mails trying to ask when we can open for visits but out e mails go ignored.  In the meantime, our families and clients are struggling without these visits. Some people believe it's the care homes decision to stop visits, however we are also pushing the local authority who seem to have no urgency in making a decision on this.' 

Official figures last week showed more than 5,000 dementia patients died needlessly during lockdown most of them in care homes.  Between March 7 and May 1, when blanket visiting bans were in place, the toll was 52 per cent higher than normal.  Over the past five years an average of 10,345 Britons died from dementia in the same eight-week period, according to the Office for National Statistics.  But this year the figure hit 15,749 meaning there were 5,404 excess and potentially avoidable deaths.  The fatalities were not related to Covid and another 13,840 dementia sufferers died from the virus from March to June. Up to 80 per cent of these 5,000 excess dementia deaths were in care homes.  Experts believe the prolonged social isolation in lockdown is likely to have contributed.  Isolation has been shown to accelerate the progression of dementia for many the best medicine is the chance to hold the hand of the person they love.  Meanwhile, Mr Hancock, who is due to host a Downing Street press conference later, said it was 'too early' to determine whether the lockdown measures in England would end after December 2.  Asked whether the lockdown would simply be 're-badged' after the deadline, he said: 'You tempt me, but it is too early to say I'm afraid.  We've seen in the last week that there is still a very high number of cases but we do absolutely want to come out of this national lockdown.  That is our goal, everybody has a part to play in making that happen of course, following the social distancing rules and isolating when you need to, which is the critical thing.'

He said one of the main goals now was to use the mass rapid testing rollout to find those who are asymptomatic with the virus.  It comes as the Prime Minister said he was feeling 'great' on his first working day in self-isolation after a 35-minute meeting with Tory MP Lee Anderson, who later tested positive for coronavirus.  In a video posted to Twitter the Prime Minister said: 'Hi folks, the good news is that NHS Test and Trace is working ever-more efficiently, but the bad news is that they've pinged me and I've got to self isolate because someone I was in contact with a few days ago has developed Covid.  It doesn't matter that we were all doing social distancing, it doesn't matter that I'm fit as a butcher's dog, feel great so many people do in my circumstances.  And actually it doesn't matter that I've had the disease and I'm bursting with antibodies.  We've got to interrupt the spread of the disease and one of the ways we can do that now is by self isolating for 14 days when contacted by Test and Trace.' 

We want to show our love: These heartbreaking stories of families torn apart by Covid-19 rules that will make you weep as told by their despairing relatives

By Eleanor Hayward for the Daily Mail 

When a blanket ban on care home visits was imposed in March as the pandemic took hold of the country, elderly residents were dealt the shock of loved-ones suddenly vanishing from their lives.  Eight months on, they are still forbidden from holding hands with their husbands and wives or hugging their sons and daughters.  The most they can hope for is the chance to wave at family through a window or prison-style screen. Some families are still being denied any visits at all.  Residents suffered cruelly in the spring when infectious hospital patients were discharged into the system, allowing the virus to tear through homes and costing thousands of lives. But since the first wave subsided, a second deadly tragedy has been slowly unfolding.  While the rest of us regained some normality dining out at restaurants, reuniting with friends, going on holiday elderly residents remained cut off from the outside world.  They say they feel incarcerated, like zoo animals who can only be stared at through a protective barrier.  Many have simply given up on life, with non-Covid deaths soaring in care homes, where more than 410,000 people live. Thousands are feared to have died from conditions other than Covid-19, brought on by inadequate medical care and a lack of social contact.  Isolation is known to speed up the progression of dementia, leading to an extra 5,000 deaths during lockdown.  Separate research shows that many of those living in care homes stopped eating or drinking at some point since the pandemic began, and care home managers have reported watching residents growing increasingly distressed.  While the crisis has been deepening, tens of thousands of families have started calling for relatives of care home residents to be granted key worker status, allowing them regular priority testing that would make in-person visits safe.  The situation is heartbreaking for family members, who worry that they will never see their mothers and fathers alive again, their final months spent in aching loneliness rather than surrounded by love.  Husbands and wives of people with dementia worry that when they are finally reunited, their partner will no longer recognise them their lifelong memories extinguished by the months spent apart. On these pages we share some of their stories.   Eddie McEwan served Britain all his working life, spending 22 years in the Royal Air Force and another decade in the fire service.  But now the 85-year-old, who struggles to speak or communicate following a stroke, has been made to feel like a prisoner.  His daughter Mhairi lives just five minutes away from his care home in south-west London, but was unable to see him for months.  She said: 'I went from seeing him every week and taking him for lunch and walks, to not being able to communicate at all.  We couldn't do Zoom calls because he can't speak or talk on the phone. He has been so isolated, and it means his condition has deteriorated. My dad is an incredibly strong, brave and determined gentleman. But he is not allowed fresh air, he is not allowed to have a life.  It is absolutely heartbreaking. People with dementia or other disabilities need to see and touch their family to feel loved. That is being denied to them. The visiting rules are utterly cruel and disproportionate.  This is all being done in the name of safety but I don't have Covid, he doesn't have Covid and the care home doesn't have Covid.'

Miss McEwan, 59, wasn't allowed to see her father at all until July, when socially distant outdoor meetings were allowed. Since London was placed under Tier 2 restrictions from October, only window visits have been permitted.  She said: 'I dream of being able to take him out for a walk in the park in his wheelchair, or take him to the pub for a pint when they open again. The chance to have Christmas dinner with him would be so special. He just needs a cuddle for Christmas.  Care homes are not supposed to be an asylum or a prison. This generation that is being betrayed at the end of their lives. Most of them do not have much time left, and are being robbed of time to spend with their families.  The costs of tests for family members would be a drop in the ocean. The Government cannot afford to wait any longer.'

During his long career as a vicar, Les Collinson supported many families through hard times.  Now as the 74-year-old battles vascular dementia, the cruel ban on visitors means there is no one there to support him.  His daughter Angela said: 'Ever since March, all I have been able to do is wave at my dad through a window. The window was high up so you couldn't even see him properly, and I'd leave in tears.  Once he put his hand out of the window to hold my hand but I had to explain that I'm not allowed to touch him. Prisoners have got more rights at the moment.'

Mr Collinson, from Darwen, Lancashire, has been in a care home since April last year when he suffered a stroke and developed vascular dementia.  Miss Collinson, 38, said: 'People with dementia need that interaction with their loved-ones. I don't understand why over summer I've been allowed to go on holiday and go out to pubs and restaurants, but I wasn't allowed to hug my dad.  Testing seems like a simple solution to this, I would pay to get tested myself if it meant I could give him a hug. Even if I could just go inside and sit by his side for five minutes it would mean the world to me.'

Dave Stallard struggles to understand why his family don't visit him every day like they used to.  The 79-year-old has severe dementia, and his wife Irene used to sit with him twice a day, regularly taking him on trips into the West Sussex countryside where they live.  But from March to July the couple, who have been married for more than 50 years, could not see each other at all. Now they are allowed only one half-hour visit every fortnight, sat two metres apart in a gazebo outside at his care home.  When Mrs Stallard wants to see her husband's face at other times, she goes to his care home, peers over the railings and tells him she loves him.  Their daughter Miranda Gore-Brown, who used to visit her father in the care home at least twice a week, said the 'inhumane' situation cannot be allowed to continue.  Mrs Gore-Browne, a finalist on the first series of The Great British Bake off, said: 'Every day that goes by without testing is a wasted day when people could be together. The lack of human contact is so cruel.  My mum should be given the same priority as a key worker and given routine testing so she can visit him. Rapid testing could transform the situation.  It is heartbreaking for my mum and has been so incredibly hard for her, thinking of all those hours where she would be able to sit chatting to him and holding his hand.  I'm really conscious that his time is running out. We have been lucky as he still knows who we are and his face lights up when we visit. Dad is really missing us and feels a sadness. He asks if we can visit more, and we have told him we want to be we can't.'

Mrs Gore-Browne added: 'The care home have been fantastic, they've done everything they can to help us visit and let us come and speak to them over the wall. But if we hadn't been able to do that and look over the railings we wouldn't have been able to see him for five months.'

Trevor Salomon usually cherishes spending Christmas day cooking up a turkey feast with his wife by his side as sous chef.  But this year, he faces the prospect of not being able to see her at all.  His wife Yvonne, 64, moved into a care home last year after developing dementia. Since lockdown was imposed, they have only been able to wave at each other through a window.  Mr Salomon, 68, said: 'I haven't been able to touch or hold my wife since the first week of March.  As difficult as that is, I take comfort in the fact that the care home staff are doing an amazing job looking after all the residents.  Window visits and video calls will get us through the next couple of weeks, but they're no substitute for a Christmas hug with Yvonne.' 

He added that he fears that unless he is allowed to see her in person soon, his wife of more than three decades will no longer be able to recognise him.  Mr Salomon said: 'Coronavirus and lockdown changed Yvonne's care home overnight. The familiar faces of family and friends are gone, and carers are behind masks and can't touch or comfort the residents.  Yvonne has lost her sparkle, she's in a world she doesn't understand.  We've only got video calls to keep in touch, and Yvonne doesn't always understand them. If lockdown continues, I'm really fearful my wife won't be able to recognise me at the end of all this.'

Caroline Raven has been trapped in a 'never-ending nightmare' since lockdown made it impossible to visit her 91-year-old mother Margaret.  'She is always telling me she wants to die now,' Mrs Raven said. 'For a daughter to hear her mother say that is horrific. I'm powerless.'

Margaret has dementia and has been living at a care home in Bristol for nearly five years. Visits were banned completely in March but a few weeks later, family members were allowed to wave at residents through a window. Now they can see each other indoors but only through screens.  Mrs Raven, 59, said: 'The care home have done everything possible but Perspex screens are not a substitute for seeing someone in person. Mum finds the visits very distressing, she doesn't understand why she can only see me through a screen and often just dissolves into tears.  She says that unless she can hug me or kiss me, she just wants to go back to her room and lie in bed, hoping her time comes. She says she has had enough. It is no life for anyone. It is barbaric.  Mum doesn't understand why things are closed or that there's a virus. She just thinks I've stopped going to see her.  She has always been fun-loving, feisty and independent, but now she is lost and defeated.'

Mrs Raven added: 'Being able to sit with mum indoors would mean everything to me. I would love to spend Christmas Day with her, take her some presents and have a sherry. If the Government gave us the ability to properly visit our family, it would be the best Christmas present ever.'

How care homes became the Covid frontline: A timeline of failings

FEBRUARY - SAGE scientists warned Government 'very early on' about the risk to care homes

Britain's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, revealed in April that he and other senior scientists warned politicians 'very early on' about the risk COVID-19 posed to care homes.  He said: 'So very early on we looked at a number of topics, we looked at nosocomial infection very early on, that's the spread in hospitals, and we flagged that as something that the NHS needed to think about.  We flagged the fact that we thought care homes would be an important area to look at, and we flagged things like vaccine development and so on. So we try to take a longer term view of things as well as dealing with the urgent and immediate areas.'

The SAGE committee met for the first time on January 22, suggesting 'very early on' in its discussions was likely the end of January or the beginning of February.

MARCH - Hospital patients discharged to homes without tests

In March and April at least 25,000 people were discharged from NHS hospitals into care homes without getting tested for coronavirus, a report by the National Audit Office found.  This move came at the peak of the outbreak and has been blamed for 'seeding' Covid-19 outbreaks in the homes which later became impossible to control.  NHS England issued an order to its hospitals to free up as many beds as they could, and later sent out joint guidance with the Department of Health saying that patients did not need to be tested beforehand.  Chair of the public accounts committee and a Labour MP in London, Meg Hillier, said: 'Residents and staff were an afterthought yet again: out of sight and out of mind, with devastating consequences.'

MARCH - Public Health England advice still did not raise alarm about care home risk and allowed visits

An early key error in the handling of the crisis, social care consultant Melanie Henwood told the Mail on Sunday, was advice issued by Public Health England (PHE) on February 25 that it remained 'very unlikely' people in care homes would become infected as there was 'currently no transmission of Covid-19 in the UK'.

Yet a fortnight earlier the UK Government's Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling committee had concluded: 'It is a realistic probability that there is already sustained transmission in the UK, or that it will become established in the coming weeks.'

On March 13, PHE advice for care homes changed 'asking no one to visit who has suspected Covid-19 or is generally unwell' but visits were still allowed.  Three days later, Mr Johnson said: 'Absolutely, we don't want to see people unnecessarily visiting care homes.'

MARCH/APRIL - Testing not readily available to care home residents

In March and April coronavirus swab tests to see who currently has the disease were rationed and not available to all care home residents suspected of having Covid-19.  Government policy dictated that a sample of residents would be tested if one showed symptoms, then an outbreak would be declared and anyone else with symptoms presumed to be infected without a test.  The Department of Health has been in control of who gets Covid-19 tests and when, based on UK testing capacity.

MARCH/APRIL - Bosses warned homes didn't have enough PPE

Care home bosses were furious in March and April now known to have been the peak of the UK's epidemic that their staff didn't have enough access to personal protective equipment such as gloves, masks and aprons.  A letter sent from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass) to the Department of Health saw the care chiefs accuse a senior figure at the Department of overseeing a 'shambolic response'.  Adass said it was facing 'confusion' and additional work as a result of mixed messaging put out by the Government.  It said the situation around PPE, which was by then mandatory for all healthcare workers, was 'shambolic' and that deliveries had been 'paltry' or 'haphazard'.  A shortage of PPE has been a consistent issue from staff in care homes since the pandemic began, and the union Unison revealed at the beginning of May that it had already received 3,600 reports about inadequate access to PPE from workers in the sector.

APRIL - Care home deaths left out of official fatality count

The Department of Health refused to include people who had died outside of hospitals in its official daily death count until April 29, three weeks after deaths had peaked in the UK.  It started to include the 'all settings' measure from that date and added on 3,811 previously uncounted Covid-19 deaths on the first day.

NOVEMBER - In response to anger over the continued ban on in-person visits, Matt Hancock vows to introduce a testing regime for visitors by Christmas. 

Retired nurse tells of humiliating arrest for taking her dementia-stricken mother, 97, out of care home

A retired nurse found herself handcuffed in the back of the police car, simply for trying to take her mother from a care home.  Ylenia Angeli and her daughter, former Coronation Street actress Leandra Ashton, 42, were horrified to see the condition of Tina Thornborough, 97, when they attended Northgate Care Home, Market Weighton, East Yorks, on November 3.  Mrs Angeli pushed past a member of staff whilst still holding a bunch of roses she had brought for the visit and wheeled her mum outside.  To her horror Humberside Police were called to the scene by the care home who were responsible for her mother's care under the UK's power of attorney rules.  Though Mrs Angeli, 73, had power of attorney over her mother's financial affairs, she did not over her care which reverts to the state for people in care homes unless it has previously been granted to family or a close friend.  The pair say they now face a battle to 'free' their relative from the home.  Following the incident, in which Angeli was arrested on suspicion of assault, before later being de-arrested by police, she told MailOnline earlier this month: 'I was shocked and wondering 'how has it come to this?'  To prevent me from leaving with my own mother, who I wanted to give the loving care of her daughter, which she so needed, they handcuffed me.   It was hard to believe that at the age of 73 I was sitting in handcuffs in the back of a police car, but I didn't have time to consider my own position very much.' 

Speaking of the moment the police arrived, she said: 'I had Mum in the car with me and was sitting with the engine running to keep us both warm.  The police officer came over and took the keys from my car which shocked me and made me angry. He had already blocked my car in and said he was going to arrest me.  I don't think even at that point I believed it but he was very strict and no nonsense and suddenly I was in handcuffs.'

Deadly toll of care homes ban: Halting visits is linked to 5,000 EXTRA dementia deaths in nursing units, figures reveal

More than 5,000 dementia patients died needlessly during lockdown most of them in care homes, official figures show.  Between March 7 and May 1, when blanket visiting bans were in place, the toll was 52 per cent higher than normal.  Over the past five years an average of 10,345 Britons died from dementia in the same eight-week period, according to the Office for National Statistics.  But this year the figure hit 15,749 meaning there were 5,404 excess and potentially avoidable deaths.  The fatalities were not related to Covid and another 13,840 dementia sufferers died from the virus from March to June. Up to 80 per cent of these 5,000 excess dementia deaths were in care homes.  Experts believe the prolonged social isolation in lockdown is likely to have contributed.  Isolation has been shown to accelerate the progression of dementia – for many the best medicine is the chance to hold the hand of the person they love.  Julia Jones, of the dementia rights organisation John's Campaign, said: 'Because dementia is neurodegenerative, visits are essential to promote wellbeing and provide stimulation that helps to prevent their condition deteriorating.  By taking away their visits, you are damaging these people clinically. You are taking away their medicine. It is an essential part of their care, just as essential as food or drugs, and you wouldn't take that away.'

The Mail has seen a major study led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine which found that many dementia sufferers have stopped eating or drinking at some point since the pandemic began.  The study said isolation had 'enormous impacts on residents' 28 per cent of care home residents had reduced the amount they ate, often leading to weight loss and frailty. It also found that 84 per cent of site managers reported a low mood among their residents, with almost all saying this was due to lack of visitors.  Of the 411,000 care home residents in the UK, 70 per cent have dementia. Research by the Alzheimer's Society shows that more than four-fifths of people with dementia have suffered a decline in memory, concentration and the ability to perform daily tasks during the pandemic.  Half reported increased memory loss and concentration problems. More than one in four said reading and writing were more difficult, while one in three said speaking and listening had become worse.  Overall, one in four of those who died from Covid-19 between March and June had dementia.  And more than 25,000 dementia patients died in March and April alone twice the figure from previous years. Normally, the Office for National Statistics would expect 11,800 dementia patients to die over this two-month period, again based on the average figures for the past five years. Although many succumbed to the virus itself, thousands of others are feared to have died from conditions brought on by inadequate medical care and a lack of social contact.  Charities have been contacted by hundreds of relatives who say loved ones are going downhill.  Professor Alistair Burns, NHS England national clinical director for dementia and older people's mental health, said: 'The extraordinary events of this year have been challenging for older people and no one should feel ashamed, reluctant or worried about asking for help.'

'Fit and healthy' boy, 10, almost died five minutes after mum dropped him off at school

Joey Tildesley-Devine was feeling fine when he went to school and mum Karen was still on the grounds when she got the call to say her son was unwell. He was quickly taken to hospital

By Kelly-Ann Mills & Charlotte Hadfield

11:24, 17 NOV 2020

A 'fit and healthy' schoolboy had a stroke at school just five minutes after being dropped off at school by his unsuspecting mum.  Joey Tildesley-Devine had gone to Queen's Park Primary School in St Helens as normal, feeling fine and displaying no signs of being unwell.  But within five minutes of dropping him off, Karen, who was still in the school building, got a call from one of his teachers to say "Joey has had a funny turn."

She rushed up to the classroom where she found Joey with a "drooped face" and loss of movement in the right side of his body.  After phoning for an ambulance which she was told could take a while to arrive, Karen rang Joey's dad Nick, and they decided to take him to hospital themselves.  Dad Nick, 39, told the Liverpool Echo: "Karen made the decision to take him to hospital ourselves.  It's a decision that has stuck with her to this day. It saved his life."

During the journey, unbeknown to Nick who was driving at the time, Joey had gone into spasm and stopped breathing on the back seat of the car.  Mum Karen, 42, who works as a midwife at Whiston Hospital, had to resuscitate Joey and saved his life.  Nick said: "I was driving, Karen was in the back with Joey and her dad was in the front with me.  She only told me afterwards that Joey started to convulse. He went into spasm and stopped breathing.  She had to resuscitate him in the back of the car and open his airways. I didn't know anything about this until two weeks later."

Karen rang ahead to Whiston Hospital to let staff know what had happened and within minutes of arriving, Joey was rushed into a room with a team of 30 medical staff.  Nick said doctors initially suspected that Joey may have had a seizure but they soon realised he had actually suffered from a serious stroke.  Joey was incubated and transferred to Alder Hey Children's Hospital by ambulance, where he went into theatre immediately.  Nick said: "They had to get him into a theatre straight away. They said there was 'a 50 per cent chance he wouldn't make it and 100 per cent chance he wouldn't make it if we don't operate.'"

"One hour ago we were ready to go to work and now we're at Alder Hey and Joey was going in for brain surgery.  We sat in a side room going through the motions.  One minute we were planning his funeral then we were happy thinking he was doing well and then we were crying again.  We were sat there thinking someone is going to come and tell us in a minute that our son is dead."

During the surgery doctors found that the stroke was caused by an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) which had burst and caused a bleed on Joey's brain.  Thankfully doctors managed to successfully remove the AVM and Joey was transferred to a high dependency unit where he was put into an induced coma for the following five days.  The 10-year-old lost his speech and the use of his right arm and leg as a result of the stroke which took place back in November 2018, and he had to learn to walk and talk again.  Karen said: “We were so relieved to see Joey open his eyes. He had survived but could hardly move or say a word.  But around three weeks later, Nick and I were by Joey’s bed. We were communicating with him using a printed-out keyboard and I said, ‘You will get better Joey. You know that, don’t you?’  He started pointing to letters: D E T E R M... I was so excited and I said, “Are you determined you’ll get better?” The sparkle in his eyes told me all I needed to know.  That moment was a first glimmer of hope for us and we couldn’t have asked for a better present."

"Then on Christmas Eve, Joey was able to come home for two days.  He couldn’t get up the stairs, so we had a hospital bed in the living room, right next to the Christmas tree. It was a bit cramped, so I slept on the floor at the side of him. My boy was home."

After Christmas Joey went back to Alder Hey where he spent the following three months receiving treatment including physiotherapy, speech therapy and having school lessons there.  He was discharged from hospital in March 2019 and now two years on, he has made amazing progress.  Despite not being able to walk or talk after his stroke, Joey can now walk independently and apart from stumbling over his words every now and again he can speak well.  Now aged 12, Joey started high school in October 2019 and due to loss of movement in his right hand, he has taught himself how to write with his left hand.  Nick said: "It's actually amazing to see how far he's actually come thanks to the help from everyone at Alder Hey the Physiotherapy, the Speech Therapy, the surgeons, they've all been amazing.  He can walk again now, he just needs a bit of help to position himself.  His progress is continuous. He's improving all the time it's amazing. He's never complained in his life."

Karen added: “One of the things we’ve found really useful is reading stroke survivors’ stories on the Stroke Association’s website.  I learned my fears were ‘normal’ and I started to feel it wasn’t the end of the world, and I could see a more hopeful future. The website has lots of information and child friendly resources too. I also found that following the Stroke Association on social media was a great source of support.”

“Last Christmas, we could never have imagined that Joey would be as strong, mobile and happy as he is today. This has been a tough year for so many reasons, and now we just can’t wait for Christmas.”

Karen and Nick are asking people to make a donation to the Stroke Association’s work supporting survivors and their families, as they rebuild their lives this Christmas.  The charity estimates that there are 4,100 people living with the effects of stroke in St Helens, while around 100,000 people have a stroke across the UK every year.  Kate Charles, Director at the Stroke Association said: “When someone’s life has been shattered by stroke, they may feel all hope is gone. But we also know that stroke survivors cling onto even the smallest glimmer of hope.  This is what powers them on to achieve what many thought would be impossible. I’ve heard so many stories of remarkable people making recoveries even 20 years after their stroke.  This pandemic has had a serious impact on our ability to raise funds through our usual community events and activities. Many people in our support services have praised the support they received from the Stroke Association, to build on that first glimmer of hope so that they could rebuild their lives after stroke. Hope might be found in a call to our Helpline; through the friendship and support of our online community; or the ongoing support of our Stroke Association Support Coordinators.  Rebuilding lives is impossible without hope. And that’s why we’re asking everyone in St Helens and across Merseyside to donate to the Stroke Association and help give someone the gift of hope this Christmas.”
Loss due to Suicide / Losing a parent to suicide
« Last post by Cocopops on November 15, 2020, 12:08:42 PM »

Losing a parent to suicide
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 Callum

Callum lost his Dad to suicide only a year ago and is learning more and more about mental health every day.  On the 11th August 2014, my dad took the decision to end his own life at the age of 52. The same day as Robin Williams. A day I will never forget.  Reliable, determined and selfless. Just a few quick words to describe my dad. Words you’d never associate with depression or suicide. It was however, these same words that made him vulnerable to mental illness. He was too busy caring to the needs of others that he forgot about himself.  "Reliable, determined and selfless. Just a few quick words to describe my dad. Words you’d never associate with depression or suicide."

To the outside world (including his family and friends) he was a thoughtful, caring and inspirational person. Someone with a loving and supportive family, secure job and content life. But inside, he was fighting an invisible battle that not even those of us closest to him knew about. He had no prior episodes of mental health problems, or at least he never told anyone. How could he ever tell those closest to him he was struggling with a mental illness? That would mean placing a burden on a family he was meant to be strong for as a father and husband. Something he could never do. It just wasn’t in his nature.  As someone who was only 23 when this happened, I feel as though I am learning more and more about mental illness everyday. Having seen the responses on social media to the passing of Robin Williams, especially from young people, it is clear there is still a long way to go with perceptions of mental health. I can understand now with hindsight that even those who don’t outwardly display that they are struggling mentally may be the most susceptible, especially men.  "For someone of my Dad's generation to say that they were depressed would be an admission of weakness."

For someone of my Dad's generation to say that they were depressed would be an admission of weakness. It's clear to me that this is still the case and belief for a large majority of men, young and old. I don’t know if comfort in the form of acceptance would have saved my dad. I am certain that it would have helped to know he wasn’t going to be judged for admitting he had a mental illness.  As someone who greatly enjoys both playing and watching sport, as my dad did, the sad news of the passing of Gary Speed is something which brought the discussion of suicide into my consciousness. It’s such a shame it takes incidences like these for people to understand how big the stigma of mental health is for men.  With the help of amazing family and friends I have been able to talk about the way I feel myself and have been able to share my experiences with them. Although talking about it won’t bring my dad back, I feel comforted in the fact I know sharing my experience can at least help someone who may be in the same position to feel even slightly consoled that they are not alone.

Read about Information and support

Mind has information about suicidal feelings and supporting someone who feels suicidal.
Loss due to Suicide / Losing someone to suicide
« Last post by Cocopops on November 15, 2020, 12:00:48 PM »

Losing someone to suicide

Every type of grief has the potential to cause intense and complex feelings, but research shows that people bereaved by suicide can have a particularly complex set of feelings and can experience additional struggles and dilemmas in trying to resolve their grief.

"It took me a good few years to work through my feelings about the death (but) in coming out of the depression I finally began to truly be myself and stop feeling so isolated and detached."

Feelings you might experience when you lose someone to suicide include intense sadness, shock, anger, frustration, confusion and isolation. Some people also talk about experiencing a sense of shame or guilt, and while this is a very common reaction it is important to remember that people who take their own lives are often trying to stop feelings of distress that can feel as intense and real as physical pain - the reasons for suicide are complex and you are not to blame.

For more information see our pages on suicidal feelings.

Who is affected by a suicide?

Suicide can have a ripple effect, extending well beyond the person's immediate family and friends. How you are affected will depend on your relationship to the person who has died, the strength of the attachment and the circumstances around the death.  While losing someone close to you to suicide can be an extremely painful and emotionally complex experience, you may find that you are also affected if someone you know less well has taken their life. 
If you feel affected by a suicide there are organisations that can help. Talking through difficult emotions and talking about the person who died can be helpful in processing the loss.

What help is available?

Many people bereaved by suicide find that they need more specific support than that provided for bereavement in general and can find it particularly valuable to make use of support groups that are especially designed for people bereaved by suicide.  In addition to the support options mentioned on our support and self-care page, you might like to consider the following:

    Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) are a great source of support for people who have been bereaved by suicide. See the SOBS website for details of their helpline, local support groups and many more practical resources.
    Cruse Bereavement Care also has some suggestions for further reading and support for people who have lost a loved one to suicide. See Cruse's website for more information on traumatic bereavement and suicide, including support if you live in Wales.

"To the outside world (including family and friends) he was thoughtful, caring and inspirational. Someone with a loving and supportive family, secure job and content life. But inside, he was fighting an invisible battle that not even those closest knew about."

Grief doesn't necessarily stop, but it can change

Grief is completely individual and there is no time limit or tried and tested process for it. People who are bereaved can sometimes feel pressure from those around them to 'move on' but it is important to recognise that grieving takes time and is not a linear process.  Time doesn't necessarily 'take away' the grief, but it can give us space to adapt around it, accept the loss and build new meaning.

"People seem to expect you to move on. I think that patience and support without a deadline is the best thing you can give to someone suffering from bereavement."
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