Measures to protect nursing home/long term care residents from getting COVID-19 ended up killing them from depression and neglect. And it didn't seem to stop the spread of the virus either. The only thing that slowed down the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes was when lockdowns were enacted outside -- demonstrated by the rise in COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes coinciding with the current surge.
Before COVID-19 nursing homes already had a bad reputation. But what's happening now is extremely disturbing and saddening. The thousands of non-COVID-19 related deaths in long term care facilities, that occurred over the same time, has been attributed to neglect and isolation! And no one is being held accountable. Because, no one is overseeing what happens inside, and most of the residents have several health conditions, it's hard to prove what exactly happened.
But from the cases that were reported and testimonials from families, it's clear that neglect is to blame. Some of the patients were left in soiled diapers until their skin peeled off and others had severe bedsores. There was more than one instance of a patient dying of dehydration.
Healthcare workers have already been overworked and underpaid before the pandemic, one can only imagine how bad it got after. These workers were overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases and many of them got sick themselves, putting further burden on the remaining workers. The owners of these facilities are to blame in my opinion. They mostly did nothing to alleviate the burden on workers, such as increasing pay or hiring more staff to help, leaving them to suffer as a result.
Since it did not help to isolate long-term care residents from their loved ones, I think we should put an end to this horrific policy. We must remember that these residents are humans that have feelings, and they are in a fragile state that requires attention. Why not let family members use the same precautions used by healthcare workers and be allowed to see their loved ones? At least they can look after them and alleviate some of the burdens off of the staff. That would also help their loved ones not to slide into deadly despair and depression.
I would implore everyone who has a family member stuck in one of these institutions to do all they can to bring them back home and let them live their final days/years in happiness. The isolation and deprivation that these people have gone through are just as bad as the coronavirus.
It's really horrific in this society that we relegate our parents and grandparents to live their final days in prison-like confinement. I understand that some people have situations that are difficult or relatives that require care beyond what they can offer. But I'm sure a lot of people are put in these homes that do not have to be there. It is unconscionable in my opinion.