Mental health worries in seniors

Dear editor,

Frustration and desperation have resulted in my writing this letter, as well as one to Riverside Health Care and the NWHU.

My brother is a resident of Rainycrest Home for the Aged. He has multiple health problems. His speech and vision are impaired due to a stroke. Many years of working with machinery has caused hearing impairment and very stiff hands. His left leg has been amputated as well as the toes on the right foot.
His wife of fifty years passed away last June.

His only joy in life, his only reason for living, is to be with family.

Rainycrest has been locked down for most of the last 2+ years. Residents are not allowed out and visitors are not allowed in. This is pure torture for my brother and many residents like him!

He is severely depressed, frequently crying or having angry outbursts. His speech is deteriorating because he has no one to talk to. Physical strength is declining due to lack of exercise. Residents do not even get outside for a breath of fresh air or sunshine!

I am begging the Riverside Health Care and the Northwestern Health Unit to reconsider what is being accomplished by these lockdowns.

Lockdowns are the result of outbreaks in the home, whether it is Covid or a cold or influenza virus. If there is an outbreak in the home, it is because the virus is already there. What is really being accomplished by locking residents in?  

The harm caused by the lockdowns is obvious to those of us that have loved ones residing there.  
Admissions are not accepted during lockdowns. Acute care beds in hospitals are often full of patients needing long term care, while care homes have empty beds. Like Covid, this too affects hospital capacity and costs.

Please reconsider lockdowns and what is being accomplished by imposing them, compared to the damage done to residents‘ overall health and well being.

Thank you for your time.
Lucille MacDonald

The Times offered Riverside and the NWHU the opportunity to rebuttal this Letter. They have both chosen to approach the writer privately.