Mom in Assisted Living, we’re in area where meat packing plants are. Lots of testing finally and lots of positives. Dementia in lockdown has thrown Mom further into depression and confusion and at times she doesn’t even believe it. We did window visits at first but now nothing. They are not going to do site wide testing here? What’s your experience?
This virus is just awful and spreads so fast. Extreme caution has to be taken, no matter how hard it is on everyone.
Second, I'm not attempting to criticize or "put anyone down", just to offer a different perspective.
When I become uncomfortable with the high risk and the changed state of literally the entire world that's subject to the pandemic, I remind myself how much worse it could be:
1. The English, Polish, French as well as the Americans and others who served in WWII faced a hell well beyond what we're facing. And not only were there tremendous casualties, those who became POWs suffered more than we're suffering just by having to stay home.
Can any of you imagine being occupied by a foreign country? Your rights pre-empted by thugs, your safety compromised? Air raids over your city?
2. Many who served returned home with shell shock, just as Korean, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans returned home with PTSD (or PTSS as it's now called). That affected not only their mental but their physical health as well as their relationships. And it couldn't be cured by a vaccine.
And some returned without all of their limbs, or with other serious injuries. Granted the Coronavirus apparently can cause long term damage, the extent of which we have yet to discover, but thus far I haven't read of anyone losing a limb.
And many never returned at all.
3. We don't have foreign troops occupying our country.
4. We're not facing years of strife with foreign countries ruining our lives, as are the Syrians.
5. We were not literally evicted from our homes, or camps, as were the Kurds when American troops were irresponsibly withdrawn from assisting those who had assisted us.
6. We're not subject to food rationing by the government, and limited in how much we can buy of basic staples. We are affected by shortages, but that's not a government mandate, and it changes depending on production, shipping and other market conditions.
None of these scenarios are possible, you say? Whether they are or aren't, there are life situations far worse than what we're facing now. I'm glad, and feel very fortunate, that I don't have to deal with what my parents did during the Depression, or what the male members experienced when they served during WWII or Vietnam.
I honestly was addressing other and eventually more posters, based in part on responses on similar threads.
I feel so badly for those who are in lockdown in facilities; it's so much more challenging when you have a loved one in that situation. If facilities had more staff and access to more space, the challenge might be lessened.
But I think the risk also arises from a population attitude toward nursing homes, and the attitude of those in power to allocate funds. For years there's been a need for more attention to the needs of the elderly. There's also a disparity in ethnicity, factors which enter the eventual care and/or survival of those who aren't in the population mainstream.
Dementia and lockdown can't be good partners. This is one area that needs attention, funding, and support, but it also needs advocates who know how to play the power game to get funds allocated.
I think that facilities will allow family to come in and visit at some point; possibly wearing masks. I don't see them allowing people to go out and have lunch in a restaurant anytime soon.
Of course no one knows but if you think about how this is going, states might be opening up but the rates of infection are also going up with those openings. It is not that the lockdown ends and we all go back to normal. There is no normal. You cannot take your mother out to restaurants or stores without putting her at risk.
I am not frail elderly but I am 67. We go out to stores and my husband still goes to work but we wear masks, wash hands and generally are pretty cautious. My FIL died on Monday and we went to Memory Care for the first time yesterday to clear out his belongings. We plan to continue being very cautious although going out to shop etc, for quite a long time. For assisted living facilities, they are going to have to be extra cautious as well.
My state is going into Phase II of re-opening, but, that doesn't apply to long term care facilities. Those places are still seeing large numbers of spread and deaths.
Most of the deaths in the rural counties in my state are from long term care facilities. It's just very risky. Even with the current restrictions, it's spreading. It's very sad.
I have somewhat adjusted to my LO (Cousin, end stage dementia) who is in a MC facility) because, she is in semi-vegetative state and not aware of much, but, I have a good friend who is physically infirmed in a nursing home and I haven't been able to see him at all. I send cards and letters, but, I can't imagine how lonely he is. I can only hope the staff are keeping him amused, but, before covid, he was not a happy camper and NOT impressed with the staff. So, I can only imagine it has been very challenging for him. (They have a great staff. It's just that my friend is quite difficult and demanding and nothing pleases him.) And, there is no telling how long it'll be. I seriously wonder if I will ever see him before he dies.
Until and unless there is a vaccine available, or a medication to PREVENT getting COVID19 to begin with, I don't see a viable answer to this dilemma. We will all be screaming bloody murder at them one way or another.
A true catch-22 if ever there was one. On the AL side of mom's place, they've all been in their ROOMS for around 8 weeks now. They're served 3 meals a day in their rooms and are not allowed out. In the Memory Care bldg where my mother lives, they can't force them to stay in their rooms for obvious reasons; but they do make them wear masks when they come out, and they separate them when eating. So it's a bit better in MC..........they still do some activities on a one-on-one basis, but my mother complains they 'do nothing'. She's a lot better off where she is now than she would be back on the AL side, frankly.
Lea is right, testing is only good for the day the person is tested.
The main means of transmission seems to be person to person close contact.
That is why the distancing, isolation, and masking requirements.
Care of many seniors in facilities means regular daily close contact with staff. Meals or other activities together make for close contact.
I don't think there are great solutions at present. The virus is not going away.
If you open up the facility to visitors and more contact, you greatly increase the risk of infection and more people will get ill and die.
If lock down is maintained, people in facilities, and those of us in our homes, suffer from the isolation.
Really that's the hard choices being faced until/unless a vaccine or effective treatment is developed.
The virus mutates so there is always a possibility that it mutates to something less problematic, but it may also mutate to something worse i.e. the outbreak in Northern China with a longer incubation period so greater risk of infection being passed on.
People, this is not going away quickly.
I have 2 uncles who died very suddenly of heart attacks several years ago. One uncle (73) was repairing some furniture an hour before, the other (59) was helping the neighbor moving things a few minute before. They were active, busy living their lives until the minute the heart attacks came and took them.
I felt really sad for both of them having their lives cut short. But now that I have had experience with my mom having Alz and reading on Agingcare what other seniors are going through in their final years, I think my uncles were very lucky to have exited this world with almost no suffering.
We all have to die someday. And we all want to die in our sleep with no suffering, but how many of us actually get that wish? Either die suddenly, or die slowly in pain or suffering. There should be a better way.
The thing that concerns me is if she does get infected she will be isolated in her room all alone until she either gets over it or passes. That part is what concerns me as to her being sick and alone or dying and alone.
For myself, I prefer to die earlier and suddenly as opposed to lingering on for years with a much lower quality of life.. as my parents have.