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Greg Meldrum said he received a call on Saturday morning saying his 85-year-old father, who has dementia, was one of the residents who tested positive.
Meldrum had feared a phone call would come after receiving an email on November 14 saying that a member of staff had tested positive. Over the next week, he received email updates saying two residents had tested positive and then six residents. Finally, on Friday evening, he learned that the number of cases was 27.
Receiving the news that his father had tested positive, Meldrum said he felt “anxious and very helpless” because there was nothing he could do to help.
“He’s my 85-year-old dad, isn’t he?” That’s the problem, and there’s a lot of helplessness that comes with it, ”he said.
“Our family is one of thousands across the country who are going through the same thing, who have received the same phone calls, and you are just praying that your loved one is strong enough to make it happen.
Staff at the care home have told him that so far his father has been doing well, but Meldrum knows his father’s age and the underlying medical conditions put him at a much higher risk of serious illness or of deceased.
His experience with the nursing home has been only positive and he knows the staff provide his father with the best possible care. Still, he worries about the staff and the pressure they are now facing.
“It’s a facility that was doing everything it could to keep it out,” he said.
“Can you imagine treating someone with COVID who is sometimes almost non-communicative? Can you imagine what they are going through, these healthcare workers and caregivers?