Overstretched care home staff are putting incontinence pads on residents because they don't have time to take them to the toilet, it has been claimed.
Care Home Advice and Support NI (CHASNI), which supports care home residents and their families, said staff at care homes are also closing curtains to stop relatives from seeing their loved ones during the pandemic.
And according to Julieann McNally from CHASNI, a number of care homes have served eviction notices on residents when family members raised concerns about their loved ones.
"What's going on in our care homes at the moment is a scandal of monumental proportions," she said.
"This is way beyond a crisis."
Earlier this year, CHASNI worked with families and health officials to draw up guidance to enable visits to care home residents to happen during the pandemic.
In September, health minister Robin Swann said all health and social care facilities, including care homes, should move to facilitate one face-to-face visit each week by one person.
At the time, the Department of Health said care homes were being encouraged to develop the concept of care partners.
A departmental spokeswoman said: "Without this input a resident is likely to experience significant and/or continued distress. Care partners will need to be designated and agree to a number of measures, which may be specific to the individual care home and its visiting policy. There may be two designated care partners sharing this role, one at a time, across the week."
Despite this, Ms McNally said she is aware of numerous cases where care homes are refusing to permit any visits by family members while also refusing to develop the care partner concept.
"We have people who haven't seen their mummy or daddy for eight months," she said.
"There have been times when people have gone down to their mummy or daddy's window only to find the curtains shut.
"There are examples where staff are putting incontinence pads on residents who don't need them simply because they're so short-staffed they don't have time to take them to the toilet.
"The toll this is taking on residents is horrific, there are people with dementia who are no longer speaking or eating since visits by family members stopped. One man has lost five stone during the lockdown, it's barbaric.
"The family members aren't stupid, they know Covid is dangerous and the last thing they want to do it put their loved ones at risk.
"They're willing to do whatever it takes, they'll wear PPE, they'll take tests, none of these people have the luxury of time and what is happening now is just cruel."
CHASNI is holding a protest outside Stormont, beginning at noon tomorrow, and is calling for Mr Swann to intervene to allow families to be reunited with their loved ones. A Department of Health spokesman said Mr Swann "fully recognises how difficult and upsetting it is for people in care homes not to see their loved ones".
He continued: "We continue to live and work with the threat of Covid-19, therefore it remains important to take measures to minimise risks of spread of infection alongside providing safely managed but meaningful visits for residents with their loved ones.
"As is included within the visiting guidance, care homes have been encouraged to develop a care partner arrangement."