The change in my dad is frightening

Jun 4th, 2020

 

I understand the Justice Centre is devoting efforts to get caregivers or a single family member back into long term care to be with elderly relatives. I applaud your work. My dad is in a great long term care home home in Strathroy, Ontario, which I’m very thankful. He was in a retirement home first which was disastrous – I thank God daily he got to Strathmere Lodge. Unfortunately, it was three days before lockdown.

There are few choices for families. My mom cared for dad until three months ago, just about did her in. She needed home care so she could get some sleep at night, but it was not possible. If she had an appointment in the middle of the day and was able to get home care, it was sometimes possible. However, the time would be booked and no one would show up.  So when dad was placed in a dementia unit – one of the best in the province we were told – it was a relief.

But then came COVID-19 – three days after he moved into his permanent home. We knew he was going to go downhill, but the pace of change in my dad in the last three months is frightening. I believe if mom was there, she could have helped and reminded him of reality. Reality for him is fleeting now. Yesterday he seemed to recognize me when I came to the window – but he became distracted with something a minute later and he didn’t recognize me anymore. I think what is most frustrating for me is the lockdown in nursing homes keeps seniors alive – but it is just as important as they decline to have quality of life – an active family who lets them know they are loved to help them bear the pain. That’s been taken away from them.

Many will die alone, not of COVID-19 but of various illnesses, old age and loneliness without the comfort of their families.

Heather W.