Quebec families say restrictions at seniors' residences are starting to take a toll
MONTREAL -- Quebecers with family members living in seniors' residences say visiting restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are beginning to take their toll.
Pierre Parent's parents both reside in the Chartwell Greenfield Park Retirement Residence. He said a walk on their balcony is as much fresh air as they can get for the next two weeks, after the first case of the virus in the facility was reported on Wednesday.
On Thursday, family members were delivering groceries to the residence's front door, where an employee wearing gloves then delivered items to individual rooms.
“That's very important,” said Parent. “They don't have to go out.”
Parent said his parents, who are 87 and 89 years old, are both in good health. He hopes the strict preventive measures will keep them that way.
“We keep safe. We do what we have to do,” he said.
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Those measures are strict across Quebec. At a Lavaltrie residence where four people have died, police are stationed outside to monitor who goes in and out. At Cote-Saint-Luc's King David, where three cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, residents have been confined to their rooms for the past nine days.
“That's where they eat their meals. They're not allowed to leave, they're not allowed to socialize at all,” said Elissa Kovac, whose 94-year-old mother Leah Cohen is a King David resident. “It's been a bit of a trying time.”
Kovac said the isolation has been hard on all the residents, though they understand it's for their own protection.
“As long as I can speak to her and fill her in on the news of the family, it's a comfort,” she said. “But it's stressful on the entire family.”
Quebec Public Health director Horacio Arruda said he realizes the restrictions are difficult but warned against violating the rules.
“It's not easy,” he said. “We understand it's difficult for families and the elderly. But it's a question of life or death.”