LEVY: Couple married 73 years separated in same LTC home

Each single afternoon and night earlier than COVID-19 hit, Lawrence Hainey obtained on his scooter and travelled to go to together with his spouse of 73 years, Lillian, in a unique wing of the identical Cambridge seniors house.

Lillian, 98, is within the long-term care wing of Fairview Mennonite Residence; Lawrence, 97, has a collection within the assisted dwelling space of the house. They moved there from a retirement house two years in the past.

Daughter Catherine Urquhart mentioned her dad would do his morning routine, have his lunch after which spend the afternoon together with his spouse. He’d return for a go to after dinner.

They’ll be married 74 years in September, the identical month Lillian will flip 99.

Urquhart mentioned Wednesday for the reason that COVID-19 lockdown, her dad has not been in a position to go to his spouse and he or she believes due to that the household has seen a major cognitive and bodily decline in each.

She mentioned her mom has some cognitive deficits and does require help to dress and bathed. She will be able to stroll utilizing her walker.


However an image of her now could be fairly totally different than earlier than COVID-19 — together with the truth that she has not had her hair accomplished weekly because it was accomplished previous to the lockdown.

She’s frailer and a “little much less regular” on her toes pre-pandemic, provides Urquhart.

However the very “unsettling” change got here per week in the past when Urquhart’s sister visited her at her window and he or she was “crying” and motioning for her to come back in.

“That’s very uncommon for my mother … she’s not a crier or complainer,” mentioned Urquhart. “She grew up within the faculty of arduous knocks … a farm household the place individuals simply did.

“There’s a unsettledness along with her … she instructed me she’s upset the opposite day (on FaceTime),” she added.

In a letter to the chief director of Fairview Seniors Group, Steve Pawelko — written Tuesday — Urquhart says her mother is feeling “lonely and deserted by her husband and kids” and means that withholding social and bodily affection (for such a protracted interval) is perhaps thought-about “emotional abuse.”

She appealed to Pawelko and Fairview officers to display “compassion, respect” and present that relational care is necessary by permitting her father to reinstate his each day visits along with her mother and be thought-about an “important” customer who contributes to her mother’s emotional and non secular well-being.

Pawelko instructed the Solar on Wednesday night he’d despatched a “message” to the household Wednesday afternoon. He didn’t elaborate.

She mentioned the humorous factor is her dad can go exterior however can’t go to different components of the constructing.

She added that her dad is monitoring each day for indicators and signs of COVID=19 and fortunately the house has had no instances.

This ban by LTC houses of important household caregivers is in no way confined to Fairview Mennonite Residence — though that is the primary story I’ve written of a husband not having the ability to go to his spouse in the identical facility.

It’s occurring everywhere in the province — regardless of a Ministry of Well being directive on Could 6 which clearly indicated that important guests embrace “household offering care.”

Nevertheless, as Vivian Stamatopoulos, an affiliate educating professor at Ontario Tech College, has famous to the Toronto Solar, LTCs have adamantly refused to observe these pointers.

“They’re actively defying the directives and doing it with impunity,” she alleged just lately.

Urquhart mentioned she doesn’t have a difficulty with the workers caring for her mother; she has an issue with the system and the dearth of communication to households in a method they’ll perceive.

She mentioned she feels it essential to advocate as a result of these seniors are “human beings” who’ve “unimaginable presents.

“They’re on the finish of their lives alone,” she mentioned. “That’s not okay.”



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