THE LIKELY—AND LARGELY HIDDEN—
TOLL OF LOCKDOWN
By Margaret Pole
Bradley Mattes, president of the Life Issues Institute, observed, “Guidelines denying family members the ability to accompany an at-risk patient eliminate a patient advocate [emphasis added] who could halt or report abuse or facilitate communication on behalf of the patient’s wishes.” His sobering observations on discriminatory healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic brought to mind my father’s stay in a nursing home several years ago. Thankfully, no lockdown was then in effect. But what if there had been? I shudder to think of what the consequences might have been.
I had been caring for Dad and Mom at their home since early 2013. A multiple fracture in his left shoulder sent Dad to the hospital for a week in December 2014. Then he was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. The hospital had given us little choice in this decision, since we didn’t have the proper equipment and support to provide at-home care.