- Sarah Whitebloom
Care home Coronavirus - hardly a surprise
When I heard a few days ago that the high-end care home where my father had lived his last years, had 16, yes 16, cases of Covid-19, I was not surprised.
During the years of my father's incarceration, the poor care and lack of attention given to vulnerable residents, saw them suffer regular viruses. A winter month never passed without vomiting and sickness or flu-like symptoms whipping around the luxurious home - for which some residents (not Dad) paid as much as £1,600 a week. Many of the poorly paid staff, who did not share in the big fees, had little experience and never seemed to notice when residents were very unwell until they were hospitalised or, in my father's case, died.
So it can be no surprise that his 'care' home, in particular, and the care industry, in general, has got a major problem with the virus - not as much of a problem, of course, as the hundreds of older and vulnerable people who have caught and died from Covid-19 in their care.
It is a shocking indictment of our don't-care attitude towards older people. Having complained about their impact on the economy, we cry crocodile tears about their deaths, while ranking ourselves favourably against the very wartime generation we have ignored.
But it is particularly sickening to hear the care industry complaining and seeking to blame others for its own failures. Most people pay very handsomely for their own care. There can be no excuse for slap dash treatment. Many firms are not reliant on state funded residents, so it is shocking that care groups are trying to shift responsibility onto others.
If they looked after residents properly - and that can be as simple as following basic hygiene and safety rules - the industry would not now be struggling with thousands of cases of the virus and hundreds of deaths. How many paid more than £1,000 a week for the privilege of being exposed to Covid-19?