Amid the covid pandemic things have definitely turned on their heads. Zoom has become one of the most utilized softwares, (and for that I’m quite grateful as I enjoy video meetings).
However… what the heck is happening to our seniors!!!
My grandfather is in an elderly care home in Manitoba. Before the pandemic struck he was thriving! Despite his dementia, the ability to speak and interact with so many residents facing similar or other ailments as he was, was a blessing to him. He’s always been a very social, conversational person. He’s also practically deaf so he requires some hefty hearing aids.
Little did I know, hearing aids cost $2000-$10,000 CAD and then some. Most insurance plans cover one pair every 5-10 years.
Since covid started, my grandad had been repeatedly on lockdown. He hasn’t been able to leave the facility at all for close to 2 years. He gets transport to appointments and even that is seldom. For a farmer who spent his life around animals and a large family, fields for days, I hope you can imagine how traumatizing and detrimental to his condition this is.
His nursing home was hit with covid and grandad had contracted it along with others in the home, so once again they were alone in seclusion for their protection. While being short staffed due to illness, it had appeared as though one of the carers washed my grandads pants with his hearing aids in the pocket. Needless to say, they were destroyed.
That week in November, 2021, my grandad lost the ability to hear again unless you scream at him. No one can visit through the window, he can’t hold conversations with other staff or residents… we couldn’t even call to say “Merry Christmas…“
The care home are saying it’s not their fault, (and they’re usually pretty good, so this isn’t a stab at them) and my grandparents, with minimal income, were unable to get a replacement pair through insurance or else wise…
In January, 2022, my grandmother asked me on the phone if I could find some second hand hearing aids for grandad. I had no idea you could use second hand ones! I figured, south of Calgary and area has a lot of seniors, there must be SOMEONE who has some kicking around they don’t need and wouldn’t mind passing on.
So I made a post on the okotoks, high river, and Calgary swap and buy and to my shock and surprise I was almost immediately inundated with responses of people wanting to help.
We were so incredibly fortunate to have two wonderful individuals come forward and offer to gift my grandad: a pair that a lady had finished using, and a pair from a lovely gentleman who unfortunately passed at the beginning of covid due to illness.
What struck me was the latter gift, that the woman and her mother had too felt the pain that their loved one was alone, and no one could be there with them. Their kindness was immense and both myself and the gentleman’s daughter cried at the exchange. This is an awful time we live in…
Which brings me back to zoom.
We have zoom meetings for work. Teams/zoom meetings for school. Zoom meetings for court and zoom visits for jail….
WHERE ARE THE SCHEDULED ZOOM VISITS FOR SENIORS!!!!!
How hard would it be to have two tablets setup so they can at least SEE A FRIENDLY FACE AND TALK TO SOMEONE THEY KNOW!
If we can’t touch them, please, allow us to find ways to keep them engaged. They made this world… and my generation and the one before it are sadly destroying it!!! The elderly are screaming for your help! Dammit Help them!
Hey Zoom? Given how much you have profited from the pandemic, why not give something like this back to the seniors. They are suffering immeasurably. How hard would a couple tablets per home be? Or in the very least help this home. Please, someone out there come up with a schedule/role for someone to help them to communicate, they’re being treat worse than criminals and yet, have done nothing wrong except live to an age where they need OUR HELP to survive.
This is my grandad. Isn’t he the sweetest!? Please, someone, anyone, find a way to help the seniors communicate. On behalf of my grandad, he would be ever so grateful for it. He may not even remember me, but he’ll never forget your kindness.