Letter: Don't be too quick to judge nursing homes for COVID outbreaks
As the media reports stories of positive cases of COVID-19 in long term care facilities, I’m listening with interest to the reactions of some – Rachael Maddow being a prime example – stirring up public sentiment of “ain’t it awful,” like “this shouldn’t be happening.” Some even draw the conclusion that the facilities are negligent in “allowing” this.
My mother, who has advanced dementia, is in long term care and from what I see, the issue isn’t so simple and one-sided. Her facility is taking every precaution, and although there’s only been one case so far, my mother (for one) has experienced a decline in quality of life as a result of the safety protocols.
First came the no-visitor policy, which left her feeling abandoned by her family. Then she had to be moved to another room as hers was turned into an isolation wing. This confused her severely. Then the only two activities that keep her at all tuned-in were ceased: congregate dining and group activities. To add insult to the injury, staff shows up in her room wearing masks, gowns and gloves. All of this is difficult for a very confused person to comprehend.
The staff have been good at accommodating video chats with family, etc., but it’s not the same quality of life. I am not faulting this facility for their safety precautions, I am merely pointing out that there isn’t a simple solution to this issue. Let’s not be too quick to judge long term care facilities when we hear of a positive case.
I worry that my mother may not make it through this epidemic, whether or not she gets the virus.