This community opinion was contributed by Noreen Martin. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.
I’ve grown impatient with the lack of leadership from our hospital board, CEO and interim health officer to re-open our hospital and skilled nursing facilities. Everyone knows that a lockdown isn’t a measure that can be sustained forever, it’s illegal and inhumane. The facilities have been on lockdown since mid-February using COVID-19 or coronavirus as the reason. What you fear you create! The lockdown including all regulatory personnel, clergy, hairdressers, barbers, therapists and ombudsmen. The residents in skilled nursing facilities are being abused mentally, spiritually, emotionally and psychologically, and they are socially isolated. This will only lead to depression and mental illness. The residents have had no physical contact with their loved ones in six months. Ridiculous! The residents haven’t had their hair cut or beards trimmed since February. Appalling! Their loved ones wouldn’t recognize them. The residents, along with their loved ones, recite the PETA prayer each night: “Unseen they suffer/Unheard they cry/In agony they linger/In loneliness they die.”
The ombudsman services are of no value. Where are Adult Protected Services and Elder Abuse Services? Why haven’t they investigated the facilities and spoken to all residents? The next call I receive for a care conference will be declined. Like everyone else, I have no way of knowing if what they’re telling us is correct. There are fewer eyes on what is actually going on in the facilities, and that’s bad! When you refuse to draw the line between cautious judgement and overkill, you lose your sense of normalcy which is clearly what has happened here.