Mandatory isolation in aged care facilities is triggering a major health crisis in Australia’s elderly population.
In January alone, over 400 aged care residents died from Covid – that’s more than the total of 280 lives lost last year.
Those who isolate are robbed of personal interaction which is what they need to maintain their cognitive health.
Julie’s (not her real name) husband is in his 70s, in aged care suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.
When he contracted Covid, Julie was banned from seeing him and he was forced to isolate himself in a room for 17 days. She says the toll it took on his mental health has been devastating, revealing that he feels suicidal and can’t remember anything said to him 5 minutes before.
“If I’m RAT tested, I’m triple vaxxed, if I’m wearing full PPE, I did not understand why I could not go and sit in his room with him. If the staff and the contractor go home, they go to Woolies, they go to Coles, they go out into the community and then they come back in to my husband the next day. Then why can’t I do the same thing?”
We are joined by Professor Lee-Fay Low, a specialist in ageing and health at the University of Sydney who says Julie’s story is just one of many emerging, that proves, isolation is deadly for the elderly.