Inge Rathje took her demented mother Ria into her home, fearing a corona infection. Now it appears that residents in her mother’s nursing home have indeed been infected.
“My mother came to our house ten days ago,” says Rathje. “Last Sunday there was the first infection, now several people have been infected. But if I don’t bring her back on Monday, she will have lost her place.”
“It’s an immoral choice I have to make,” she says. It may take a long time for her mother to be able to return to the nursing home if her daughter does not return her. “But if I bring her back, I will kill her.”
Her mother’s unit has become a cohort unit, a nursing unit designed for patients with proven coronavirus infection. That means that patients stay together.
The care for mother Ria is heavy. “I can’t leave her alone for a second. Because it is a big baby that I have to take care of non-stop.”
“If I bring her back, I’ll kill her”
The nursing home understands the dilemma, but cannot promise that Ria Rathje’s room will remain available due to waiting lists and pressure from hospitals to receive corona patients.
“We absolutely understand that this resident’s daughter is very concerned. We prefer not to include someone in the home, because someone is not simply admitted to the nursing home. But we also understand it so well when you make such a decision, “says Katinka van Boxtel of care group Archipel.
“We follow the national guidelines. When this request came, we also contacted the care office directly to discuss what exactly is possible and what is not. We have well informed the daughter about the consequences of such a decision and how serious that could be. People are so afraid of corona that they are willing to take all the risks of bringing someone home “, says van Boxtel
“I can do it alone here at home, but I do need help,” says Rathje. “For example, my shower is being renovated so that I can shower her more easily. When I go shopping, I have to take my mother in the car.”
Conny Helder, chairman of Actiz, the sectoral organization of nursing homes, often receives questions from people in the same situation. “People are concerned, that makes sense. Whether or not there is contamination in such a house. At the same time, many caregivers realize that it is a huge job.”
Actiz discourages people with plans to take elderly people home from the nursing home. “We don’t think it’s wise,” says Helder. “Moreover, if people are admitted under the law of care and compulsion, the nursing home remains responsible. And in a region where the need is very high, many people are waiting for a nursing home location. And I can imagine that it is difficult to do so.” keep one place open. “
We made recordings in a nursing home in collaboration with staff, residents and their families. This happens when the house is hit by corona: