How many of our elderly have been condemned to die alone, amidst the COVID 19 restrictions?

How long must our loved ones endure isolation and loneliness? Until they die?

COVID 19 is wreaking havoc on the already fragile lives of our loved ones who are at the mercy of the hospitals, assisted living homes, and nursing homes in which they reside.

Do you have a loved one isolated from family and friends, even pastors, priests, and Chaplains because of the COVID 19 restrictions?

Have you endured the heartbreaking experience of your loved one needing you—yet you are denied access to hold their hand as they die?

How would you feel if you were in that situation—sick, scared, in pain, and dying—alone with only a few nurses checking in from time to time?

Jesus said in Matthew 25:44’…Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

Do you have a son, daughter or loved one in an assisted home for the handicapped or disabled, and have been unable to see them or put your arms around them, and tell them in person they are loved, and that you are here for them?

Do they understand? Can they understand?

My heart explodes at the thought of these dear people living and dying alone, with no-one to hold their hand and tell them it will be okay. I mourn with their frustrated family members who know they are desperately needed, yet are forbidden to be there! The fear of sickness is ranking higher than comforting those already dying, denying us our last chance to be with our loved ones—for the rest of our life on earth!  How can anyone deny our citizens this basic right, when it is in their power to allow it?

I understand the dilemma—don’t get me wrong. But it doesn’t make it right!

The dilemma is: Others may get sick because you visit. This is preventable with caution. Aids go in all the time, they just use the right procedures, which any healthy person can do. We, as a society, have a right to take care of those in need. The prevention of sickness is only one need. The need for love and touch when you are dying is essential, and we must not deny this humanitarian need.

I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling the injustice of it all —and that there must be a solution.

I have a strange suspicion that IF one of the family members of the restriction makers were dying, they WOULD find a way to ease up on the restrictions; looking at individual situations and not making blanket statements and rules. It is possible and should be done.

Here are some suggestions you can do depending on your situation:

  • Take your loved one out of the institution and bring them home to die, utilizing in-home hospice. This way you and your family can be with them, and you can also have volunteers from Hospice if you wish.
  • If you can’t take them home; ask, beg and plead with the leadership in the assisted home, or hospital to allow at least one family member at a time into the room with their loved one, so they are not alone when they are dying and scared.
  • Ask the leadership of the home or hospital to allow official hospice volunteers in, to sit by the side of hospice patients, (at a distance) to read to them, talk to them, or play music for them.
  • Advocate for those who have no voice; petition the powers that be, to have mercy on those who can fall into depression from loneliness, and/or die without love and physical touch.
  • Pray! We need to plead with God for those who have no voice, that restrictions will ease up.

We are living in difficult times, this is for sure, but we can never let down our guard when it comes to protecting those we love and those who have no voice. Let’s take to heart the words of our Lord; Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6).

A society should never be so concerned about one thing, that they ignore the needs of its weakest citizens. Hospice is about dying with dignity, and when families can give, dignity can live.

Rebecca Marie Fitzgerald is a certified Therapeutic Harpist sharing Christ’s love through music and compassion, playing for those going through hard times, such as the dying, homeless, homebound, sick, and prisoners. She and her husband founded Dawn Music Ministries, which began in Russia, and now includes Colorado and wherever she happens to be in the world. Rebecca is also an author, writing about dying; how to make your loved one’s transition tranquil, as well as heartfelt fiction dealing with disabilities, hope, and faith. Learn more about her ministry at rebeccamariefitzgerald.com.

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Fitz
Fitz
24 days ago

Being with loved ones who are dying can be awkward. Your well written article reminds us of the importance of being with them in their last days and hours, to comfort, show love, and show they are not alone. This is indeed a necessity of life and those in authority need to understand this.