Older people in care homes do matter; they were once key workers too

From: Polly Rippon, Sheffield.

A nurse in PPE (personal protective equipment) speaks to a care home as the Government stands accused of neglecting social care.

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IT seems coronavirus deaths may have peaked in hospitals but they’re rising in care homes – why don’t the authorities care?

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Two years ago my lovely mum died. She was a care home resident because she’d suffered a debilitating stroke during an operation to remove a tumour from her lung.

Is the Govenrment guilty of neglecting social care?

It’s a tragedy which I will never get over – before her op and at the age of 73 she was living at home, full of life, had more energy than me and was still working as a primary school teacher after 50 years – yes, she was a key worker.

We’re told by the Government they’ve handled the coronavirus pandemic well – but we all know deaths in care homes and the community weren’t included in the statistics revealed at the daily press conference of doom.

To date it is estimated the number of deaths in care homes linked to the virus is 3,096. There was growing outrage over the Government’s refusal to include these statistics in their daily updates until Ministers acted.

That’s over 3,000 more people who have died, frightened and alone, without a loved one to hold their hand as they slip away. They may be frail, elderly or have underlying health conditions, but these people all have names and individual stories to tell. Every single one of them. And yet they are the silent, as yet uncounted victims of this devastating pandemic.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.

They are much-loved great- grandparents, grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles. They are the key workers of the past – the doctors, nurses, paramedics, police officers, firefighters, retail workers, coal miners, factory workers and teachers.

In the years after the war, 
these were the heroes who helped to rebuild our country and get it back on its feet. Grafting hard to feed their loved ones and create a thriving economy and a better standard of living for us all.

Back in the day, in their 30s, 40s, 50s and even 60s, these are the people we would have been applauding at 8pm every Thursday night. But reach 70, or be unfortunate enough to fall ill or suffer from dementia, and it seems those in authority don’t care any more and you’re consigned to the scrap heap, written off as a valuable member of society, no matter what your past or contribution.

It’s wrong and we should be calling it out – demanding to know what those figures are as part of the daily round-up, reading their obituaries, shedding tears for them and paying tribute to every single one of those people who has died, no matter their age. Older people’s lives matter, too.

From: Paul Brown, Sheffield.

THE peak numbers of Covid-19 cases are in the London commuter belt. This strongly suggests to me that the required action to control the virus is to tell the long distance commuters to stay at home rather than to close every local pub and restaurant in the country.

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