At my 103 year old Mom’s nursing home, despite No Covid cases and good staffing/PPE, absolutely no personal visits of any kind are allowed. She has cognitively declined thinks we are coming to see her. It has to be explained over and over again because she cannot retain the information.
Last week after staff got her washed and dressed, she phoned me very scared . She said they were “dressing me because I was dying and they kept talking to me like I was dying. I felt like they were dressing my corpse.” So I really needed to ask someone: is Mom just totally misinterpreting or was this a new staff member who did not understand she is afraid of death and abandonment and treated her so impersonally she felt like a dead thing? (Perhaps this staff member needed more training in “person centered care.” ) Or was the staff member just too busy to take the time to explain to her repeatedly about what is going on in extremely short sentences in a loud voice, and still sound kind. All this is understandable, but my Mom was scared enough that I wished to avoid repeating the experience, and to do this I really needed know more.
I asked the activity therapist who manned a Zoom call with Mom to advise me. The nursing station is always quite busy. Subsequently, after a letter I sent advocating for physical visits to the nursing home I got a letter from administration saying that a staff member complained about things that I asked them directly related to this incident and that i should consider “Zoom” visits to be strictly social and not ask questions of the staff member present.