A woman whose mother has contracted Covid-19 while being a resident at the Matilda Williams Smith Senior’s Residence in Bermuda says she is angry and disappointed that earlier measures were not taken to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
Last week it was announced that 23 residents and staff at the nursing home have tested positive for the virus.
At the time of publishing, five people on the island have died as a result of contracting the virus.
The woman, who asked not to be identified in order to protect her mother’s privacy, says she was worried that the Coronavirus would be contracted at the Devonshire facility. She says the alarm bells rang for her family when they read an article in the April 11, 2020 edition of The Royal Gazette http://www.royalgazette.com/health/article/20200411/seniors-home-resident-in-critical-condition which revealed that a resident of the nursing home was in critical condition at the hospital after contracting the virus.
“I don’t know why, but I knew that this was going to happen,” she asserts. “All over the world, seniors have died and care homes have been hit hard. Bermuda should not have expected it to be any different.
The woman says she has never had any qualms with the level of care her mother has received while at the home but says that she feels that her family were somewhat being kept in the dark when her mother was initially hospitalised.
“After we read the article, a relative called the rest home to see if she was affected and she was told to call back in a few days when the head nurse was there. The next time we heard from them a few days later, we were told that she was in the hospital.
“We were told it was because she was having respiratory issues but I felt there was more to it. And then when the Government held the press conference and said results were not available at that time, I just felt in my gut something was going on.
And to add insult to injury, the woman says the nursing home never told her family that her mother contracted the virus. They learned it from a doctor at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital who contacted them asking whether they wanted their mother to be resuscitated if needed.
“Why weren’t we told about the resident contracting the virus?” she asks. “Why did we have to be blindsided and hear about it through the media? Why didn’t anyone tell us she had Coronavirus. The lack of communication is appalling.”
The next day, during the daily Government Covid press conference it was revealed that 23 people tested positive for the virus at the nursing home.
“It’s hurtful that my mother has the virus, but I wasn’t surprised that it had come to this. I cannot understand why earlier preventative measures were not taken. I think because Bermuda has been relatively unscathed at this point, people are taking it for granted. In my opinion, measures should have been put into place. Care homes have been affected all over the world, why would it be any different in Bermuda.
“While no one can say for sure, I feel that the virus was spread via someone who was in and out of the home. It’s common for nurses to work at more than one facility. The residents don’t move in and out like that.”
While she and her family hope that their mother recovers from the virus, she has accepted that the outlook could be grim.
“My mother falls into the vulnerable category and she has a history of respiratory issues, so we are prepared for the worst. She suffers from dementia and in some ways I see it as a blessing because she has no clue what is going on.”
SheHub reached out to the nursing home on Monday and up to the time of publishing, no response has been received.