Dear Dr. Hinshaw,
I appreciate your guidance during this pandemic, but encourage you to allow “children” of the elderly to visit their parent(s) in person in longterm care facilities. We “children” are over 60 years of age, and care deeply about our aged parents. This hits home for me, as my 99-year old mother is allowed 2-designated visitors – but has 3 children who are able, and would like to visit. I have been the one to do weekly “window visits”, which is wearing thin and not working well. Driving an hour each way, to stand in the cold to have a window visit is frustrating when you can see she needs assistance and you are unable to attend to those needs.
The lack of stimulation in these facilities has taken a huge toll on the mental health of the elderly. The staff are tired, and the residents’ days are long and lonely. They are getting more forgetful and gaze absently in their room because each day is the same as the last. No outings, limited visitors, no musical groups to visit and uplift the mood – even though all the residents who wanted a vaccination received both doses in January. Thank you for making that a priority! I am grateful this facility has had zero COVID cases among residents or staff. The residents’ patience needs to be rewarded. It’s been a looooong year.
My widowed mother is unable to turn on a TV or radio, needs someone to trim her fingernails or read to her. Frequent phone calls and weekly window visits help, but she is now at the stage of life that she NEEDS more hands-on assistance. I understand not permitting random visitors, but PLEASE ALLOW ALL LIVING CHILDREN TO VISIT THEIR PARENT(S). The days of the elderly are even more numbered than the pandemic’s, so this change needs to be made as soon as possible. These stalwart Alberta pioneers have been valiant, but are struggling. Please help them. Let us help take the strain off the staff.
Thank you for your consideration on this urgent matter, Louise Campbell
Dear Dr. Hinshaw,