Welcome to OlderLivingMatters
Older people are ignored, blamed and belittled.
It is time to fight back.
OLM is packed with hard-won advice about the struggles of old age - everything from where to live to how to avoid the dreaded care home and how to access help, plus how to be helpful for the sandwich generation and their parents
In the UK:
in their own homes
Most older people never live in a care home
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No Covid deaths in 50% of care homes
But 152 homes saw more than 20 deaths
44 people died in one Wigan care home
More than 18,000 deaths in the first wave
But more than 13,000 in the second wave
WHEN the Care Quality Commission finally published details [21 July 2021] of the care homes where people have died Covid-related deaths, it made for very distressing reading. The CQC's long long list, shows more than 30,000 people died in about 7,000 care homes - homes where they were supposed to be safe and cared for, but where relatives were not even allowed to visit, for fear of bringing in the virus.
But the virus was brought in, with devastating consequences. The regulator has repeatedly suggested there was nothing that could be done in the face of the pandemic. And the CQC's data shows more than 18,000 care home residents died in the 'first wave', when it can be argued the country still did not have much understanding of the virus. There were mistakes. People were discharged from hospitals into homes, without a Covid tests. It took a while before PPE was available and for care homes to introduce tough Covid procedures.
But why were there more than 13,000 deaths in the second wave, when homes should have had all the tough new procedures in place?
Many homes had multiple deaths in both waves. Even if you accept these care homes were swept away by the first wave, although they are supposed to have stringent safety procedures in place as a matter of course, there can be no excuses, no claims that they were taken unawares by later waves.
Worse, perhaps more shocking, is the fact that 50% of homes had no Covid deaths - as OLM reported earlier this year: not in the first wave, not in the second wave. So how were they able to do it? How were they able to protect their residents when so many could not?
Looking down the list of homes with multiple deaths, I see the home where my father died. According to the CQC, it is 'Good' on all counts. It was not Good five years ago, although it was rated as such, and it certainly is not Good now, after 23 Covid deaths - the second highest number in the county. And yet they charge private residents more than £1,500 a week for 'care'. The trouble is, they don't care.
This pandemic has exposed many inequalities and inequities. It has also exposed a failing care home system and a useless care home regulator.