It doesn’t matter who we are, we have all been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. For some people, it is little more than an inconvenience. Yes, they may be having a rough time because they can’t go out and enjoy themselves as they may have just a few months ago but they are getting by. Other people, however, have been deeply affected by the pandemic and they might continue to feel the sting, even years after the virus goes away. Perhaps the individuals who we think about the most that have been affected by the pandemic are the elderly who are living in an assisted living facility.
Nobody knows this better than a 58-year-old man from Scotland named Brian Halliday. His 89-year-old mother has been living in a care facility and she suffers from dementia. In the nine months since lockdown started in March, he was only able to visit his mother face to face one time and that visit only lasted 30 minutes. His mother ended up crying, so it’s been difficult not to go back and visit again. To top it off, the dementia that his mother suffers from makes her wonder why she can’t hug her children and grandchildren. The only way for her to visit and to see her family is through a wire fence, because those are the rules that are set up by the facility.
Halliday says that he is concerned for his mother, and she has asked him repeatedly if he would help her commit suicide. He said: “Every time I went to see her she was begging me to help her commit suicide. I tried to keep her hopes up by telling her just to hang on a bit longer.”
He is also afraid that his mother feels abandoned. She has broken her hip twice since March and has lost a lot of weight. He took a picture of his mother through the fence this summer and then sent it to the Care Campaign for the Vulnerable (CCFTV). That organization has seen 154 unfair objections of residents from care facilities since March 23. The founder, Jayne Connery said: “Families say some homes don’t facilitate visits, even at a closed window. Some haven’t seen loved ones for six months.”
There are rules in place in the UK and the United States to keep people in those assisted care facilities safe. At times, the rules may be strict but we would like to think that they are there for the greater good.