I relate to parents of school age children returning to the classroom and COVID19

My loved one with dementia is scheduled to return to adult day health next week. As her guardian I need to sign a document in the presence of the management. Although I agreed to do so, I have not done it. I received phone call reminders and just this morning an email reminding me. I have not forgotten. She starts on Monday.

Why am I dragging my feet? I am going to sign it.

This must be similar to how parents of school age children are feeling about the start of the school year. I am scared for my loved one. She has to be reminded to wear her mask, wash her hands and social distance.

Currently she is at an assisted living facility and there have been no new cases for months. Protocols are implemented, dining rooms modified and the majority of my loved one’s day is spent in her room.

But that is actually a problem. The isolation is causing a decline in many residents my loved one included. It manifests for her in increased confusion and agitation.

Prior to the shelter at home and shut down, she went to adult day health six days a week. Then it abruptly ended in March. It has been difficult for her. She needs the socialization and stimulation. Remote bingo playing is not enough.

The center is implementing protocols for the day program. There are half the number of clients. Seat assignments are using social distancing and masks must be worn. She will be attending three days rather than the six.

It is best for her that she attend rather than isolate in her room. Waiting for a vaccine is not an option. It is what she wants and as her guardian I need to help her take advantage of the center’s reopening.

So with reluctance I am leaving my house shortly to sign the document. I am placing my trust in the staff that are operating the program and in my sister’s higher power.

It is the right thing to do for my loved one

HartFelt wishes for all caregivers and parents with a decision to send your loved one to adult heath care or to school or not, that you make the best decision for your loved one and for yourself as well.

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