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“They can die lonely”: How Covid’s policies affect care facilities | World News



As the UK faces the potential for a second wave of coronavirus, care facilities across the country are beginning to limit visits to protect the elderly.

However, that limitation causes heartache for relatives. Some of their relatives talked about the sadness of not being able to visit their families even on the last days of their lives, and some allowed only 1 hour and 30 minutes of visitors every two weeks.

In Norfolk, Anna Hemp and her family mourn the death of her grandfather Alan Sigsworth, 91, who died of natural cause on Saturday. Only one member of the family was able to meet him 30 minutes before his death. The doctor warned that it could happen within a few days.

In 2019, Alan Sigsworth with his granddaughter dog at his home in Norfolk.

In 2019, Alan Sigsworth with his granddaughter dog at his home in Norfolk. Photo: Guardian Community

“We were allowed a 30-minute visit to say goodbye to one of our family members. My uncle wasn’t even allowed to touch his hands even after disinfection,” Hemp said. ..

“I’m a biochemical graduate. I understand the risks involved and I understand that care facilities need to be on the safe side. But this seems overkill. To someone in the bed of death Saying goodbye is sacred. “

According to Hen, Alain has been suffering from dementia for about a year and has been exacerbated by the inability to maintain daily activities and social activities during the lockdown. Only one member of the family was allowed to visit him every two weeks for 30 minutes over the last two months. Hemp’s mother was also able to visit him in his death bed, but only in her ability as a priest.

“It annoyed us because there was a door from his room to the yard, we originally paid extra for that, so we didn’t have to go to a care facility,” Hemp said.

“And by that time he was always in bed, so I didn’t know why we couldn’t get in. It felt sudden and it was very difficult to say goodbye properly. . ”

Since the introduction of the new restrictions in early September, Sandra has been wearing her 90-year-old mother Eve in her care facility in Hull from behind the Perspecs screen, once a week. I could only see it for 30 minutes. PPE. Sandra has seen mothers with Alzheimer’s disease declining in recent weeks. “Before this, she was more careful and knew who I was,” she said.

“The last time I met her on Saturday, I didn’t have anything from her. There was no speech, her eyes were closed, she was shrinking to herself and it’s sorrowful . “

Sandra and her six siblings were able to celebrate Eve’s 90th birthday in May after the lockdown restrictions were relaxed, but only one family member could enter the house. is.

Before the blockade, I visited four times a week to wash my mother’s hair and prepare her nails, but now I’m worried that these strict measures could affect her health. ..

Eve behind the Perspecs screen in Care Home.  A photo taken by my daughter.

Eve behind the Perspecs screen in Care Home. A photo taken by my daughter. Photo: Sandra / Guardian Community

“I think the care facility is afraid of death,” she said. “I can understand why they are so protective, but I think it’s far above. They die lonely, not in Covid.”

“I just want to give my mother a hug, but now I can’t get close enough to her to say,” We still love your mother. ” If she dies, I won’t forgive myself. “

In West Sussex, 87-year-old Susan * can only visit the garden once a week from someone wearing a mask every 2 meters and every 2 meters. She had a stroke three months ago and her family was hospitalized daily.

“My mother is bedridden and sleeps alone every day except when a nurse accompanies her,” said her daughter Charlotte. “She is so depressed that I don’t understand why we can’t see her. Her mental health is depressed and she is prescribed antidepressants. She is abandoned and” despaired. ” Feel, “This is not life.”

“If that means she can see her family, I doubt she would rather risk getting Covid-19. The impact this has had on her family is devastating. One day, she is ashamed of how the government treated the elderly in a long-term care facility and learns lessons.

“Government guidelines are wrong. They do not protect the elderly. They give them a life of loneliness, human warmth and loveless isolation. My mother has been since mid-June. I’ve never seen a face without a mask. “

Charlotte, whose mother pays more than £ 50,000 a year for care and accommodation, said the basic nature of commercial care facilities is causing serious problems. “I think this particular care facility is much tougher than other care facilities because it lost a lot of residents at Covid. They are a business and want to make money. Residents have died. If so, they are losing money. “

She added: “I met 30 minutes last Wednesday, after which I was kicked out. I was able to stay there for 2 hours, they have a large garden, it It was a nice day, there are lots of seats. I won’t see her for another 6 weeks because my brother and sister wanted to see her. “

* Renamed to protect personal identity


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