Caregiving in the Time of CoVid-19, #19: Not Wearing Masks Near a Caregiving Community??

It has been 80 days since I’ve seen my parents, and it’s frustrating. As an adult daughter, I want to offer support and help them remain in good spirits as they traverse the rough road of their fragile elderhood while simultaneously living through an international pandemic. Right now, though, just about the only things I can do are calling, waving on FaceTime, and sending the occasional package.

irisWhat is reassuring, however, is that my parents live in a caregiving community that is bending over backward, and yes probably doing summersaults, to keep my parents, the other assisted living residents, and all the other members of the community protected and healthy.

If an illness should catch up with my parents during these pre-vaccine, on-and-off quarantine periods, it won’t be because the people who are caring for them did not apply all the bast epidemic mitigation and prevention protocols in an effort to keep everyone healthy. Even more reassuring, early on the leaders and staff of the entire retirement community did not wait to observe what might happen. They moved ahead and applied the best public health and epidemiological guidelines, taking protective steps the minute they heard about the first case of CoVid-19 in an assisted living community in Washington state.

I am grateful.

This is why I am appalled and angry after seeing the photographs in the newspaper of a maskless Vice President and his staff members standing in front of a rehabilitation community. Thank goodness all the people from the facility were wearing masks. The following day, one of the Vice President’s staff members turned positive for Co-Vid-19. We will never know whether someone was infected in front of that building, but why oh why would anybody even take the chance?

Many friends and acquaintances are, like me, worry about the survival of fragile elderly parents as we simultaneously navigate steps to preserve our own health during what feels like an unending CoVid-10 crisis. I cannot imagine what a person with a parent or family member in that Alexandria, Virginia rehabilitation community must have thought and felt upon seeing the pictures of maskless people right out in front of the facility where a family member is receiving care.

With a mom or dad or husband or wife in that rehab community, and the coronavirus just waiting to stealthily creep into the facility, some must have cried out in fear and frustration.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Caregiving in the Time of CoVid-19, #19: Not Wearing Masks Near a Caregiving Community??

  1. This reader would welcome a more detailed description of the steps taken in your parent’s senior community to protect them and mitigate spread. Thank you, and thanks for an uplifting story in this terrible time. Needed!

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    • Great idea. I will try to make a list of the things that I know about:

      — No visitors and no outside helpers and assistants on the entire campus
      — Weekly communication with family members of residents
      — Checking on the health of staff each day including temperature checks
      — Encouraging staff to stay home if they do not feel well.
      — Using masks early on for staff and adding them soon after for community members
      — Closing dining rooms for retirement community apartments and delivering meals
      — Social distancing dining tables in other places
      — Closing the wellness center, the library, and other common areas
      — Packages and materials for supportive living community members must be clearly labeled and dropped off outside the building
      — Following CDC mitigation and quarantine guidelines to the letter

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  2. I assume that the facility, like most in Northern Virginia, has barred relatives from visiting. The place where my husband was would not even let outsiders pass things (like cupcakes or PPE equipment) to a staff member. You were instructed to leave it by their door and a staff member would retrieve it after they left. I wondered if this kind of episode would actually turn out to be bad PR for this facility after it was all over–despite their touting that their clients had included members of Congress. (Possible HIPPA violation, as well?)

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