My Mum, beloved by all who have met her, is 97, has severe memory loss, poor eyesight and hearing, and is wonderfully cared for at home by a rota of visiting carers. If she were to suffer from Covid-19 it would be far preferable for her to stay in the familiarity of her home, instead of being left utterly disorientated, separated from her loved ones, and terrified in a hospital.
Many other people might choose to spend what may well be their last few days in their own home; and some people might be given no choice but to stay there. But my Mum and all these others would urgently need palliative care at home.
Please make sure that local doctors, nurses and health visitors can rapidly deploy supplies of care equipment and drugs like sedatives and opiates, as well as PPE, for use in the home. Relatives need to know how to access this care quickly and easily.
To date, the organisation of this basic humane care seems not to have been put in place at government level. It needs to go hand in hand with joined-up local planning.
Tragedy is happening because we acted late on PPE and testing; and again, late on care homes. Please avert more tragedy by acting NOW to make sure that people like my Mum are not abandoned.