"I had a talk with the administrator of my Mom’s facility today. I told her I was coming to get Mom on Friday. I’m taking her out. Taking her home. Those are some of the best words I have ever said. I just finished her bedroom today. I am so excited for Friday. My heart aches for those of you that cannot take your loved ones out. I have struggled all these months. Sleepless nights. Knot in my stomach. So many tears. I know it won’t be easy. But, I’m doing it. I’m doing it." From a member of Caregivers For Compromise
A room for Mom...
Relatives of loved ones who live in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, are taking their parents, siblings and grandparents out of those facilities and taking on the enormous task of becoming their caregiver within their own homes.
One obvious reason is because of the high number of COVID-related deaths that have occurred in those facilities.
As of the latest reporting on November 12, 2020, these are the number of CDC reported cases:
RESIDENT CASES AND DEATHS:
Total COVID-19 Confirmed Cases: 294,438
Total COVID-19 Suspected Cases: 156,929
Total COVID-19 Deaths 65,446
With the projected escalation of the number of COVID-related cases and deaths throughout this next coronavirus surge, we can expect to see even more residents being taken out of nursing homes.
But there's another reason for the escalation of in-home caregiving. Many have not been able to visit in person with their loved ones for what is now almost nine months. They have only been able to visit through panes of glass. But it's not enough; not nearly enough.
Not being able to hold their loved-one's hand, kiss their cheek, comb their hair and say, "I love you," in person has taken a toll on everyone's emotions, but it has also taken a huge toll on the health of those residents who have been totally isolated in their rooms for months. Many suffer from dementia and cannot understand why those in-person visits have stopped or why they can't go to the dining room or visit with the friend next door.
Progress was being made in changing this through appeals to state governors, and visiting restrictions were beginning to lift, albeit on a very restricted basis. Now, with COVID-19 cases expected to surge through these dark months of winter, we can expect more people to be bringing their loved ones home.
Perhaps the much-needed, highly anticipated vaccine can turn this entire situation around. That's the very best outcome for those who are separated from their families. And that's the outcome we should all wish for. Until then, many who have no training and no experience--those who can find any possible way to do so--will become caregivers in their homes. As we can tell from the poignant opening paragraph of this article, they understand the challenges will be great, but the rewards will be greater.