I am a retired mental health community nurse 68 years old. Numerous roles including supporting carers. My parents live alone together. They have been married 69 years and wish to die in their home. They are 95 years and 90 years old. Both have dementia and both have numerous and severe physical problems. Even without the virus it seems to me unlikely they will last long. Neither is able to manage independently, my father can hardly walk and falls weekly, cannot get up, my mother’s demenita is severe and she cannot ask for help, she can’t use a phone. Currently we have care going in 3 times a day, plus one of the family most days. Even so, there are various crisises, from plumbing emergencies to getting locked in - you know the sort of thing. They now live only in one room as neither can manage the stairs. They lack capacity in most things and we children (3) have POA over care and finances joint and several. We have been supporting them for nearly two decades already, we do the shopping, they cannot cook or clean and hygeine is a non starter.
If Corona Virus strikes either the carer service or my parents or even my family, we simply do not know what to do. I understand that the elderly will be requred to isolate and will likely not have access to A&E, or hospital beds. Prior to the panic we have already processed DNR documentation. It’s very unlikely that a parent will survive if they catch the virus. The other would be almost certain to catch it too, as they live in the same room and have no concept of hygeine. The carers are untrained and may well bail out in such a situation, we don’t have a lot of faith in the company.
The government is about to issue advice for the over 70s to isolate but as far as I can tell, there is no advice about from who. Would this include family and caring companies? Will unqualified carers continue to come or will they bail out? I am too anxious about this to even ask.
Does anyone have anything at all to say about how to handle this situation? Frankly I have no clue, even though I have spent decades nursing and caring. Strange times.