My mom the most loving woman I have ever known. She has dementia, is about to turn 99 in August, and lives in a Skilled Nursing Facility for memory care. As a young girl she took care of her mom at home until the day her mom died of cancer. I always promised my mom that I would take care of her in her old age just as she had for her mom. Unfortunately, I cannot keep that promise. No visitor policies due to Covid 19 in her nursing home prevent me and my adult siblings from being there for our mom. Prior to the lock down my sisters and I made sure one of us was there to visit her every day, seven days a week. When we were present the majority of mom’s caretaking was given by us. We fed her, made sure she got her medicine on time, helped her to the toilet, and helped her in and out of bed for her nap. We watched her mood and her body closely and made the nurses & CNAs aware of her emotional and physical needs. We kept her engaged as well. We brought in games, books, movies, puzzles, cloth balls, balloons, etc. to make sure she was exercising mind and body and having fun every day.
The last time we saw our mom in person was Saturday, March 14th. We saw the lock down coming, we knew what it meant for mom and the rest of the residents. Though we are able to video chat with her three times a day, it simply is not a substitute for the in-person companionship, care and advocacy we gave her prior to the lock down. All the things that provided enjoyment and quality of life are gone. She’s in isolation. In some ways video chat has become a window into her suffering. We see her daily deteriorating. Sometimes complete misery takes over my mom. She cries and tells us “I’m sad. I’m miserable.” I need help getting help to my mom. It’s urgent! Time is of the essence. She’s nearly 99. I fear she’s not going to outlive this pandemic.