With the senior population so vulnerable to COVID-19, many families across Alberta and the country are struggling with decisions on what’s best for them. Alle Ross was wondering what she should do for her 87-year-old mom, Eunice.
“It was a dilemma. Do you bring her home with you? You feel exasperation and mostly deep concern where is she better off?” Ross said.
“Because she’s familiar with where she’s at and you’re also concerned that if one person gets it, it’s a lockdown and you can’t get them,” Ross said.
She decided to move her mom back home to live with her in her condo. She moved her out of her seniors lodge on March 26. She said she couldn’t bear the thought of her mom being quarantined and alone.
“I fell apart because I thought she might die without talking to her family,” Ross said. “It’s a lot to carry, I am happy she is healthy and home.”
Alberta Health officials say there’s a lot to consider. Spokesperson Tom McMillan said if families have the choice to bring them home they should know the risks.
“If families wish to take a resident home to provide care for them during an outbreak, they can, but the resident will not be re-admitted back into the facility until the outbreak is over,” McMillan said.
“We are advising that the decision to remove a resident should be made in conjunction with the resident’s care team, physician, at-home supports, AHS Home Care (if applicable) and any alternate decision makers. It is essential that families be able to fully meet the resident’s needs,” McMillan said.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Health Officer, noted it is a very individual decision.
“We know that the people, especially who are in long term care, often have very complex care needs,” Dr. Hinshaw said.
“I think it’s a matter of making sure that as people are considering that they talk to those facilities, they understand what’s being done to protect their loved one in that particular facility. And they understand what the implications might be if they if they took them home,” Dr. Hinshaw said.
Alle Ross said she was willing to take any risks. The two are now self-isolating together and haven’t shown any symptoms.
“You should be able to bring your loved one home if you want to,” Ross said. “You don’t want to wait until they die to be able to see them again.”View link »