Contributed by Pete Lovering – Amid the current covid19 pandemic and eight-plus weeks into the lockdown, I am thinking about people locked into long term care. I am reminded of my 92-year-old grandmother who 20 years ago said and I quote “ this is not fun. All my friends are dead. I can’t do anything. I wish I could just sleep away”.
I imagine there are a lot of very elderly people out there in lockdown who are feeling the same way. We are all going a little crazy but how do you think they feel? Old hockey and baseball games must be confusing, not to mention reruns of the Young and the Restless from the ’80s. The only thing they have is family, kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids and the warmth of the sun on a spring day. We have taken that away from them and we did not ask.
I wonder what would happen if we asked how they would like to proceed? I suspect many very elderly folks out there, given the chance, would actually say “Screw it. Let me see my kids, I want to go outside, or sit at a family dinner table”. Every day is a struggle for many seniors, and we have (further) locked them away. No walks, no bridge, no going anywhere and certainly no visits from loved ones, the only people in the world they know or have any interest in seeing. It seems like cruel and inhuman punishment. Whatever you think of the current status of Longterm living residences for seniors, I suspect that every day is a reward and a burden, without the reward the burden of waking and continuing in a lockdown would be unbearable.
They, in their words “ have lived a good life”. They are acutely aware of life, and their life expectancy, having seen their friends pass, and are likely very conscious of the fact that they have succeeded and at 92 they are playing with house money.
If our elderly were allowed to make a choice, I’ll bet there would be a stampede, all be it slow, of seniors who want to escape sit in the sun, get driven around with window open, enjoy the day and see all of their families. I bet they would be okay with any and all of it, Covid be damned. Bring on the grey revolution. I just wish they had social media so they could organize and rise up slowly! We would all be better for it and so would they! #greyrevolution.