Jun 4th, 2020
My mother and father are in a nursing home in Edmonton. My father is 80 and has been under lockdown for over 2 months. It started about 2 months ago when he threw up. They tested him for COVID-19 and his results we negative. About 10 to 12 days later they released him to go to the dining hall. However the next day they ordered a mandatory lockdown of his floor.
My Dad lives in Extended Care and my Mom is in the same facility in the Independent Living section. My Dad and all the other residents on that floor have been forced to remain under lockdown for going on 3 months, with no sign they will allow residents in long term care to leave their rooms.
My Dad has been forced to stay in his room for over 2 months now without visitation, exercise, fresh air or exposure of any sort to the outside world. This has resulted in a regression we have not seen before. He can no longer stand up on his own without falling backwards, they are feeding him by hand where he used to feed himself.
During telephone conversations my Dad has started to fade and zone out and sometimes just hangs up the phone without finishing the conversation. My mother feels that she is losing the man she married.
We found out that staff at the facility were not taking him to the washroom often enough and he was urinating and soiling himself, and being forced to sit in his own mess until they got around to taking him and cleaning him up. When my Dad has asked to go to the washroom (sometimes he has to go several times within two hours due his medical condition), and is unable to get himself to the toilet because he is disabled, staff have told him he has to wait, that he has to go to often, and then he has accidents. He feels deeply ashamed. We think my Dad is only being showered once a week and suspect he is left wearing the same clothes for three days in a row.
My sister called in and complained and they told us a signage sheet would be put on his bed and staff would have to sign every 2 hours to prove that they had taken him to the washroom. Whether this has been implemented we do not know as my Dad gets confused so we can’t ask him.
No on has been allowed in to see him or to confirm whether or not he is being taken to the washroom. My mother has partial power of attorney. She has asked to go up and see him and volunteered to be tested for COVID19, but staff there refuse.
They have claimed that all these things they are doing is under GOVERNMENT ORDERS and the HEALTH OFFICER that is overseeing their Facility.
The lockdown order was issued originally when a resident in the Extended Care unit tested positive for COVID 19. They could have easily quarantined the infected person and sterilized the floor and then allowed the other residents out, but the CEO mandated that they were all to be locked down.
At the end of April, Alberta Health Services stated lockdowns would start to be reduced and residents could come out. But the CEO declared that HE felt it was not the right time to reduce restrictions and has said residents may be locked down for an additional two to three months.
Another woman whose husband had Alzheimer’s, was also locked down, and the staff refused to allow him any visitation. He was unable to communicate by telephone because of advanced Alzheimers. They would not allow facetime or anyone to come and see him. He was 88 years old and died recently, alone, presumably because of severe loneliness. His wife lives in the condos on site across the courtyard. She was permitted to leave the facility for the funeral, and then to return, but they were going to force her to self-isolate ALONE for an additional 14 days. Apparently after complaints from the family, she was allowed to have 1 or 2 people to remain with her. Imagine what this would have done to her, to be forced to isolate ALONE for 14 days after losing her husband. To make matters worse, she also lost her brother whom from what I understand was in the same facility. approximately a week ago this last Thursday.
My Mother deeply regrets moving into to this facility with my father and now wants to move to a different, private facility, and this new facility has indicated my parents can come. However, the current facility has locked my father’s unit with security at the doors, and they will not let him out. We have attempted to have him transferred and get their cooperation and so far, the facility is not assisting us to move my parents.
We feel that the treatment that my Dad has been subjected to is inhumane, cruel and unusual punishment and unlawful confinement. He is allowed no visitors, no fresh air, no access to the outside (Save by Telephone or Facetime) no exercise or activities. We feel that this has caused a deterioration of his mind due to extended isolation. We feel that he is being subjected to Elder Abuse and denied his Charter rights to freedom and dignity. The staff care coordinator has refused to let my mother visit her husband except for one 30 minute visit. He has been in lockdown three months.
The CEO of this facility seems to think he is beyond the mandates of Alberta Health Services and can override what should be loosening of restrictions, and instead decide himself what is in the best interests of residents. We want my parents out of this facility. We have a place for them to move, and they are not prisoners.