Concerned about our elderly in lock-down? If so, speak out

Connecting the Dots

If you are concerned about the isolation of our senior population, particularly those in care homes, you can tell the Manitoba government that you want seniors to be allowed regular access to senior loved ones when you take the Draft Phase 4 Survey.

Manitoba government is asking for our feedback regarding COVID-19 measures to keep the Coronavirus while allowing Manitobans to live their lives. How often does the government ask for our opinion? It’s time to engage.

article continues below

The economy is a big factor in the need to “open up” our province.

But there’s another human factor and that is our relationships. There is great concern about our elderly who have been cut off from family and sometimes from each other within care homes.

Seniors in nursing homes cannot take the initiative to make contact with the outside world.

There is no respite from the four walls, for seniors confined to facilities. Music programs and activities as well as day trips have always been huge for the quality of life for many in care homes.

Members of the staff feel for residents and their isolation from family; they have told me so.

Certainly, there’s concern for keeping COVID-19 out of facilities like Virden’s Sherwood Care Home or the Westman; or in senior apartments like Princess Lodge. We understand that if one member within a residence becomes ill with this virus, it jeopardizes everyone else under that roof. It could turn into an epidemic within the facility so large that the local hospital would be hard pressed to give nursing care.

However, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

If extra dedicated staff were hired for facilities like the Westman, for example, with a mandate to manage visits, that would help. I think this should have been done from the outset.

There’s a petition circulating asking our Prime Minister to do something. However, health care is a provincial matter and quite a lot of authority is given to health regions (Prairie Mountain Health for Westman) to mandate how care facilities and hospitals manage visitation. I suggest a letter to Penny Gilson, CEO for Prairie Mountain Health.

The province says that over 42,500 surveys were submitted in June when we consulted on plans for return to school and phase three of the Restoring Safe Services roadmap. That’s not very many responses on a province-wide basis. We need to speak up.

The survey takes about 10 minutes. You will need to create a profile and a password when you go to EngageMB.ca.

Here’s the link to the Manitoba survey for Phase 4: https://engagemb.ca/phase-four-restoring-safe-services

The petition directed toward the Prime Minister is a Change.org endeavor and has been signed by Virden people as well as thousands around the country.

https://www.change.org/p/prime-minister-justin-trudeau-make-safe-access-to-seniors-isolating-in-long-term-care-the-countries-top-priority

© Virden Empire-Advance