Eased COVID-19 restrictions a morale boost for loved ones of supervised home residents
MONTREAL -- Families with loved ones suffering from psychiatric issues who live in supervised homes could soon begin to visit again after months of COVID-19 lock down.
Maria Pengue's 49-year-old son Bruno lives in a supervised facility just blocks away from her Cote St-Paul home but she hasn't seen him in three months because of the restrictions.
“My son cannot go out, he can't go jogging, he can't do his groceries,” she said.
Until the pandemic, Bruno managed his schizophrenia with supervision, medication and discipline but the lock down has taken a toll, according to his mother.
“I see his health has deteriorated with the increase in medication, the lack of exercise,” she said. “The (toll on his) psychological and physiological health has been devastating.
Bruno would visit his mother every Saturday, where he would help with chores and practice his musical instruments. Bruno was an accomplished musician, playing drums, xylophone and saxophone and was a mathematician and engineer when mental illness struck.
The family last saw Bruno on Wednesday and said the sight of him broke her heart.
“We can see from his face, from his eyes that he's not doing his regular life. He's a prisoner,” she said.
A deconfinement document issued Friday would allow Bruno and others to gradually resume social interactions. The document pertains to supervised homes for people suffering from physical or intellectual disabilities as well as autism. In it, two separate plans are issued: one for homes with no COVID-19 outbreak and one's that have two or more confirmed cases.
Those with no outbreak will permit supervised excursions and unsupervised ones on a case-by-case basis. Those homes will also permit visits and will allow new residents to be admitted.
Restrictions on facilities with more than two cases will be more stringent, with excursions only permitted in certain situations and no unnecessary visitors.
Pengue said news of the plan was a major morale boost.
“I don't want my song to suffer more. This is important, he suffered enough,” she said.