Parole or release residents

I have recently heard a number of Matrons and Care Home Managers, relate how they have noticed the health (both physiological and mental), decline amongst their elderly residents – to the extent that apart from physical deterioration, many are depressed, with some even verging on suicidal tendencies.

And isn’t this totally understandable given the stringent restrictions imposed by Covid.

They are not allowed out! Their visitors (even close family members) are seriously impeded in their attempts to visit them! And even when visits are sanctioned, the restrictions imposed, are so severe – as to mimic visiting relatives in prison… with details of faces smudged by Perspex partitions; the solace of human touch sometimes insulated by plastic sleeves…  with even hugs and cuddles been strictly verboten! 

Wouldn’t you feel depressed? After all they are human beings – not something to be ignored, suppressed and hidden away on remote shelves in care homes?

In 2020 Covid arrived announced, and wisely, severe restrictions were implemented in order to prevent it spreading. However we are now in the year 2021 and it has become evident that the ‘Bug’ is, to a degree, here to stay.  So we now need to make another plan!

Do I hear you say… “ it’s for their own good. We have to protect them; we have to prevent them from becoming infected.”  Well perhaps you should also remember that they are not children! They have the right to make up their own minds, in respect of their future. We should stop patronising them! We should cease commandeering their lives. Moreover, if they feel the risk is worth it… then the choice is theirs alone to make. Remember it is not about the quantity of years that we live; it is about the quality of those years.  And we cannot continue living like this forever

So now that Covid has taken up permanent residence on Earth… The decision as to whether elderly people in Care Homes wish to serve notice on Planet Earth is theirs alone to make. Irrespective of the risk, seniors cannot (and should not), be imprisoned ad infintum. Either ease the restrictions or, with their willing approval and participation, find innovative ways in which to improve their lives… or allow them to make their own decisions regarding the future ... for maybe it’s time!

Henry Spencer