Thank you to Bruce Horovitz and AARP for tackling this painful aspect of resident care during Covid-19 and for mentioning my work.
Coronavirus restrictions to protect our most vulnerable alter end-of-life rituals
After 45 years of marriage, the cruel twists of fate now leave Jean Ross and her seriously ailing husband, Phil, sadly hoping for a best-case scenario, under which they would be able to see each other without waiting for weeks, months or even longer.
It would be the best case because it could potentially be deadly if Phil, 69, were to catch the coronavirus in his current condition.
Phil is convalescing at a rehab facility in Alexandria, Virginia, following a series of six surgeries to amputate his right arm and right leg, necessitated by a serious allergic reaction to medications after an illness around Christmas. Jean has been barred from visiting him since the facility began following the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) tough new coronavirus-related restrictions on visitors to nursing homes, hospitals and convalescent facilities.
“He’s weak as a kitten due to three months in bed and very little rehab,” says Jean, who also turns 70 this year and had been completing plans with Phil to retire and move from Vienna, Virginia, to live closer to their daughter in suburban Philadelphia, before he became ill. “I’m looking at a new reality. It was wrenching last night to say on the phone, ‘I don’t know when I’ll see you again.’ “