On Monday, The Conservative Review posted an article about a Covid-related study in Scotland.
The article reports:
While it’s obvious to anyone with a modicum of common sense, it’s nice to see a Scottish government-sanctioned inquiry raise concerns about the way nursing home patients were treated during the pandemic. A new 143-page report published by Edinburgh Napier University on behalf of the Scottish Covid-19 Inquiry found that the severe lockdown of senior care home residents “caused great distress and is likely to have contributed in a number of cases to cognitive and emotional decline and even death.”
“The rights of those in care home and their visitors should not have been disproportionately impacted during the pandemic,” observes the inquiry regarding the violation of human rights and the lack of proportionality in attempting to shield seniors in care from the virus. “Any restriction of visiting rights must therefore have been kept under constant review throughout, assessed on an individual basis and in light of the prevailing situation regarding the pandemic in Scotland with clear and updated guidance being provided.”
The article notes:
Given the high rate of senior care COVID deaths, there really is no evidence that any of these measures worked. But the inquiry does note that the extreme isolation likely hastened the deaths of many people. “There is substantial evidence of the harm and distress caused to residents and their families by the restrictions imposed in care homes. This includes concerns that, particularly for people with dementia, being unable to maintain contact with their family exacerbated cognitive and emotional decline, potentially hastening their death.”
The report cites the heartbreaking examples detailed by a petition to the Scottish parliament by families of senior care residents:
- Daughters were forced to watch from a distance as carers held a dying mother’s hand.
- Elderly husbands peered through windows to see their distressed wives reaching out for a familiar touch.
- Children and young adults were left distraught and with no comprehension as to why they were “abandoned” by their family.
- The use of prison-style screens and intercom communication was cold, unfeeling, and gave no comfort.
- iPads and online communication were impossible for the many residents with no understanding of Zoom calls or Facetime.
At the same time these draconian measures were put in place regarding visitors and family members, a number of states were sending Covid-positive patients from hospitals to nursing homes when they were still contagious. We need a study of not only the impact of the isolation of the elderly in nursing homeso, but also of the introduction of Covid-positive patients into nursing homes.