Coronavirus: Mother with Alzheimer’s needs her caregivers, son says

Susie Mayers Blauer, 62, is currently living at Jewish Eldercare residence with young onset Alzheimers. Courtesy: Aaron Blauer

Susie Mayers Blauer, 62, suffers from young onset Alzheimer’s and is currently living at Donald Berman Jewish Eldercare Centre, where her two private caregivers assist to her needs daily.

But since March 14, Mayers Blauer hasn’t seen her family or received any of the essential care provided by her private caregivers.

Quebec Premier François Legault banned all outside entries and visits into senior care residences and homes due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Quebec climbed to 628 Monday with 45 people hospitalized, including 20 people in intensive care, and four fatalities within the same senior home.

“For my mom to have any quality of life she needs her caregivers,” says her son Aaron Blauer.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Quebec cases climb to 219, schools to remain closed until May

Mayers Blauer’s Alzheimer’s is different than most. It affects a different part of her brain which causes her to have trouble with executive functioning. The disease incapacitates her from connecting her needs to the proper actions needed to address them.

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She is unable to go to the bathroom by herself because her brain has trouble understanding how to do so.

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Her son says he’s worried the lack of private care will lead to his mother forgetting him, his brother Noam and father Joseph, permanently.

Aaron Blauer and his mother Susie.
Aaron Blauer and his mother Susie. Courtesy: Aaron Blauer

Mayers Blauer’s caregivers tend to her needs 70 hours a week, from changing her diapers to turning on her TV and playing her favourite music — their companionship provide the most valuable source of happiness, according to her son.

“She cries a significant amount of her waking hours,” he says. “She needs them.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Montreal seniors defying Quebec’s order to stay home during COVID-19 pandemic

“It’s nerve-racking. We have no idea how she’s doing right now. She could be miserable and have zero quality of life,” he says.

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Though they understand the circumstances of disallowing visitors in senior care homes due to the severity of COVID-19, the family hopes an exception could be granted for her caregivers at the very least.

“They don’t have enough staff to be watching everyone at all times and my mother needs the attention and the constant care.”

Blauer says he’s worried about her safety because her condition can make her aggressive. Loud noises can cause her to lash out at anyone in her way.

“We’ve come to terms [with us not being able to see her], but we need the caregivers,” Blauer says. “Without them her behaviour and general mood could potentially change forever.”

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