who gets affected when you demand social distancing? (One frail group)

who gets affected when you demand social distancing? (One frail group)

As care centers in Canada and other countries are being closed to non-essential visitors,

As doctors use tele-health technology to skype with patients and reduce the in-office traffic. (Trust me that is actually a good idea, cuzz you can sit in a specialist’s waiting room or clinic for a good 3-4 hours here)

I hope that you remember there are frail people in the community who need supervision and care as well.


It may seem like a joke to some people who like spending time alone, and they say they’d be glad to have months to themselves with no interruption.

But people I deal with are a fall away from being in a care center. They have a home maker who comes in 1-2x a week to muck out. They have a meal delivery every day or two so they can eat better, healthier meals than their deli or fast food places who deliver will give them. Or better than cat food and PBJ. They have an attendant in to lift them in and out of the tub or shower, because they and/or their partner can’t navigate that safely. They have nurses or social workers who come in to make sure their support plan is in place and going well. They have pharmacy deliveries of meds they cannot live without. They have doctors’ appts.

They may have nurses in several times a day to check their oxygen, blood sugar, IV bag, stats…. They may have a therapist of some kind (occupational, physio…) in for rehab after a fall or a stroke. Or to maintain their memory or physical function. They may need a dressing changed on an open wound. Remember that Christopher Reeve may have died due to treatment of an ulcerated bed sore. (Not from his actual injuries/quadraplegia.) And you may realize how important professional eyes on a patient are.

They may have a standing visit to a frail adult “babysitting” agency so their family caretaker or spouse can hold down a job, and/or run errands because they cannot safely be left on their own. That is how falls, and fires get started. That is how wanderers at early stages of dementia end up in a lake or in front of a train. Because they are unsupervised and get confused.

And then there are the people who went/or will go home to die. Who need nurses for pain control and easing their passage safely and comfortably… Do we send them screaming into the abyss?


So is this the person you want to drop off supplies for and leave for months? Trust me, they’d be dead. Virus or not. It isn’t that they might be a bit anxious or sad. It’s that they could not survive for four months alone. But given proper support, they can survive for years and be quite happy with it. And it will cost society less than a bed in a care center or hospital will ever do.

So what do you plan to do for them?

And how dare you say you’d be grateful to have those months alone??!! Because it won’t be you who is asked to be alone. EVER!! It’s them. Especially as the already short-staffed health care system gets taxed with hospitalized virus patients and sick staff. And there aren’t enough respite spots in care centers to take these people in to keep them safer either. I hope they have family, who are willing to take them on. And can.

Maybe the govt will use those promised dollars for this crisis to integrate in doctors and nurses, within our borders already, who we have refused opportunity to practice. So far they’ve been keeping body and soul together by taking menial jobs, since they’re not allowed to practice here. Even if they were treated as interns/students on a team, it’d flesh out the staff we already have. And it could be they are off work at the job they took till they could get their Canadian certificates. So they may be available. Because the system would open up a lot wider if there was an influx of staff. Some training has to be far better than none. An interned position has to be better than loss of a bed due to staff shortages. That is part of the reason why so few beds are available for respite or critical care. The two bed types needed in this pandemic. I’m sure Canada isn’t the only country that could resolve some of their health care staffing situations by thinking like this. Just a thought…


CCAC stats
These are some of the public numbers, not those who have family or privately funded people in to help. And there are also programs like the March of Dimes and the Victorian Order of Nursing. And they have to triage their wait lists. Some weren’t getting the full support they need, even before COVID 19 hit. These are real people who will be affected, not panic projections.

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