There has been a lot of debate lately over the pros and cons of pulling a parent out of their senior care facility in the wake of the COVID-19 virus.
The debate is born over the shocking number of outbreaks and reported deaths at senior care facilities across the province.
By Wednesday there were 49 reported deaths due to the COVID-19 virus, according to a survey conducted that day no fewer than 40 of those deaths had occurred at senior care facilities. Eighteen of those deaths occurred at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon. That figure is now up to 20.
What the numbers would suggest is that your loved one stands a lot better chance surviving statistically outside the seniors home rather than inside. But statistics can be deceiving.
For the most part, senior care facilities are doing an excellent job protecting their residents from COVID-19. There are 10 retirement residences and nursing homes in Orléans and thus far only one outbreak has occurred – knock on wood.
But the fear is not so much about the virus as it's about the longevity of the current non-essential visitors ban which was put in place at most of the retirement homes on March 20. It's highly doubtful the ban will be lifted anytime before a vaccine is made available which could take another year.
That's 12 months of kids and grandchildren never getting to see their grandparent again accept on Skype or Zoom, or through a double-paned glass window. That's 12 months of seniors never getting to be with their spouses.
There are going to be a great number of deaths in senior care facilitirs over the next 12 months – some will be due to the coronavirus while others will be due to underlying issues. Others still, will die of natural causes. There people reading this article who will never get to hug their parents or grandparents, or see them face to face again.
My own father is 88. He's living in a retirement residence in Barrhaven. I don't know how many years he has left, ohow much he has left when he's mobile enough to keep doing things together. The COVID-19 virus and the non-essential visitors ban is robbing us of that time. These are weeks and months we will never get back.
That is a major reason why so many people are considering the idea of pulling their parent or parents out of their retirement home. They just want to be together at this difficult time and no one should begrudge that.
Others we wish to thank are Pantry Plus, Distinctive Bathrooms and Kitchens and Millennium Floor Covering. All three have been advertising in the Orléans Star for a number of years. Pantry Plus is offering a curbside pickup service during the current situation and Millennium is continuing to provide consultations and free estimates over the phone. Unfortunately, Distinctive Bathrooms and Kitchens has been forced to suspend its operations until the provincial non-essential services ban is lifted.
We also would like to thank our Business Directory clients: Innes Kitchen & Bath, Mobile Kitchen & Reno, the Poop Squad, Brunton Canine Services, Orléans Pro Painters, The Affordable Handyman, Landriault Plumbing and Church of God International.
And we especially want to thank our local politicians, all of whom stepped up to the plate to ensure we were able to publish a newspaper this week. Last, but by no means least, we want to thank Camps Canada, Grapevine, Bearbrook Game Meat, Fruits Express, Precision Automotive, Confisserie Mondoux and all the restaurants listed on pages 8 and 9.
These are trying times for everyone. The job of this paper – like any other community newspaper – still able to publish is to keep our readers informed of the changing world in which we now find ourselves. All we ask is that you support those businesses who support us in any way you can.
– Fred Sherwin, editor