Author – Mandi Axmann
This morning I rang the residential home where my mother, who has been diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s disease, is staying.
‘Could my mother maybe come down just for a couple of minutes to reception so that I can give her a care package?’ I enquired. ‘No visitors allowed, sorry that is not possible. You can only drop the package off at reception,’ was the cold-hearted reply.
‘It’s been three weeks since there were no visitors. This is not fair, seeing that today there was only one infection reported which was linked to an existing cluster? I pleaded.
‘Sorry, the rules are the rules.’
There is a saying that one can err on the side of caution. To say that, however, does not take away from the fact that what has been done has been in error. We all must make allowances, saying ‘I will sacrifice this time or that pleasure for the greater good.’ But what if now is the only time we’ll ever have?
My mother does not have the luxury of time anymore. Her brain and her body are in the dying process, she is going to be taken soon. This will happen with or without a ‘deadly virus’, that even in her current condition the chances of survival is 99.98%. The recent Melbourne outbreak resulted in only one hospital admission and no deaths, even though five of those cases were in an elderly residential home. Where is the justification of a ‘no visitors policy’ for three weeks? Prisoners with life sentences get better treatment than that.
This is also not the first time, and unfortunately this is what happens when bureaucrats are left in charge of people’s health and wellbeing. During previous lockdowns, the elderly was the first to be isolated and the last to be able to leave their confinements. During the worst times they were literally locked up in their rooms and not even allowed in the dining areas.
They had to endure this in a weakened conditions and without the support from family and friends, and as in the case of my mother not understanding how or why. This had a devastating effect on the physical health and mental wellbeing of residents around the globe. In the UK there has been incidents reported of elderly that requested euthanasia because their life became too bleak and miserable to bear. These are the people that have fought for our freedom, not so long ago, and in their final hours are isolated, neglected and given no voice.
Where is the outrage??!! Are we just dandy with standing by while the elderly is being locked up and left to die? This pandemic has already taken our money, our homes, and our jobs. If we also lose our compassion and our care for each other, then we have lost the very essence of that which makes us human.
Are we just going to give up without a fight, or are we go to say that we will not go quietly into this night?