The ITV star was in tears as she revealed she hasn’t physically touched her mother Joan, who lives in a care home, for months under covid-19 restrictions.
Ruth, 60, and her Loose Women co-stars were discussing I’m A Celeb’s Ruthie Henshall’s call for it to be made illegal for care homes to ban visits amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Separated: Ruth Langsford had an emotional debate on Tuesday’s Loose Women about visitation rights for care home residents, revealing how she has struggled not being able to physically touch her mum Joan for months
Ruth shared her own experience with viewers, explaining: ‘This is very close to my heart as my mum has not been out of her care home since March. The biggest concern for lots of people is if they died and you haven’t actually held them, touched them.’
‘I’ve seen my mum through a window and I phone her all the time but I haven’t physically touched her. I absolutely understand it from the care homes’ point of view. They have such a responsibility, they are caring for very vulnerable, elderly people.’
‘My mum’s care home, they locked down before the official lockdown, they saw it coming, they locked down and they’ve been incredible,’ she insisted, but added that now vaccines have started to roll out, the subject of visits must come back under review.
‘I just think now people are asking questions, saying ‘OK we understood that then’ but my mum’s had her first vaccine, could they not treat me as a primary care worker, test me and as long as I don’t have covid, she’s had her vaccination, I could go in and physically sit in her room and talk to her?’ Ruth questioned.
Tough: Ruth shared her own experience with viewers, explaining: ‘This is very close to my heart as my mum has not been out of her care home since March (pictured together in March 2020)
‘I can’t praise the care workers at my mum’s care home enough, they are incredible,’ Ruth continued but added the workers don’t have the personal connection she has with her mum.
She explained she found it particularly difficult as she wants to share memories with her mum about her late dad and sister Julia, who died in 2019.
‘They are doing their daily jobs and are very, very busy. They can’t match my memories with my mum, they can’t sit and talk to my mum about my dad and sister and life as they don’t have the time and they don’t know her well enough.
‘That, I think, is what so many elderly people are missing.’
Close: Ruth shared her own experience with viewers, explaining: ‘The biggest concern for lots of people is if they died and you haven’t actually held them, touched them’ (pictured with her mother before the pandemic),
After their discussion, Ruth read a message from the Department for Health and Social Care, who confirmed visits are not yet able to take place.
She read: ‘The Department for Health and Social Care have said close contact indoor visits are not currently allowed.
‘While the vaccines provide protection from serious disease, we do not yet know if they prevent somebody from passing on the virus to others.
‘We will be looking to ensure that a wider range of visiting arrangements are made available when it is safe to do so.’
Visibly emotional, Ruth took a deep breath, and said: ‘Well let’s hope that that’s soon because I think people really, really need to see their loved ones and to touch them and to hold them.’
In December Ruth revealed her guilt over putting her mother in a care home during a discussion on This Morning.
The TV star had previously revealed she has been talking to her mother through a window using a walkie talkie.
She discussed her heartache while giving advice to a caller in a similar position alongside husband Eamonn Holmes, also 60, and agony aunt Deidre.
Catching up: Back in March 2020, Ruth shared a sweet video of herself kissing her mum through a window as she wished her a Happy Mother’s Day
A caller named Sue shared her worries after her elderly mother had gone into hospital for leg pain, but had sadly been diagnosed dementia while still in hospital.
She revealed her mother had been sectioned and will need to be released into a care home. She had said she was scared about how their relationship will change and questioned if her mother would even recognise her.
Sue said: ‘More than anything I feel so guilty.’ Showing compassion, Ruth replied: ‘Sue, honestly, I know why you would, and we did as a family.
‘Everybody who faces a loved one going into a care home feels guilt, it’s just a human, natural reaction, but you mustn’t do because you love your mum so much, clearly.
‘You will find her the best care home for her, because you will be choosing it with love and care and what is best for her at the front of your mind.’
Tears: After their discussion, Ruth read a message from the Department for Health and Social Care, who confirmed visits are not yet able to take place and got visibly emotional
She continued: ‘And actually, Sue, it becomes a different way of being with your mum, because I am sure you do a lot of caring for her, even before she had dementia.
‘And it’s the same with my mum when my dad had Alzheimer’s and she looked after him for ten years.
‘And when he eventually went into care, which was very hard for all of us, I said, ‘You can visit him as his wife, not his carer’, you won’t have to do those things, it’s a different time, a different relationship.
‘She might not recognise you straight away, just going from my family experiences, but if you keep her calm, it might take time.’
Back in March 2020, Ruth shared a sweet video of herself kissing her mum through a window as she wished her a Happy Mother’s Day.
The Loose Women star followed the government’s advice to practice social distancing, especially with the elderly, as she greeted her mum through the glass.
Captioning the video, Ruth wrote: ‘Locked down but not forgotten! Happy Mother’s Day Mum….love her! ❤️’
Hard: Ruth took a deep breath, and said: ‘Well let’s hope that that’s soon because I think people really, really need to see their loved ones and to touch them and to hold them’
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