They meet their children looking out of a balcony or behind the glass of a window. They watch the grandchildren play over the hedge or across the street. Sitting in wheelchairs, they catch sun and chat in the gardens or courtyards. At worst, to contact the world out there is the tablet or mobile phone of the operators. They are the most vulnerable, that is, the guests of the residences for the elderly. Phase 2 has also begun for them who, very often saved from isolation, are trying to tie up threads that the virus has cut cleanly. But since the visits are still impossible, each Residence for the elderly (Rsa) is organized as it can to encourage rapprochement with families without violating the rules on health security. All this waiting for next week when, in some regions, some doors will start to reopen. In Veneto, for example, admissions will be possible starting from June 1st. No hugs or hands in hands, let alone kisses. But seeing – albeit from a distance – a son, a daughter, grandchildren or any loved one, hearing his voice, following his gestures, not the same thing as doing it through a video call.
In Alzano Lombardo, the heart of the epidemic
They know this well in Alzano Lombardo, in the lower Val Seriana which was the heart of the epidemic. At the Martino Zanchi Foundation, RSA which in March counted 20 dead and which today has 77 guests out of the 98 beds available, this is the third week of reopening, if we can call it that. Because in reality nothing is still open but the rule of getting by as best you can is worth. The manager, Maria Giulia Madaschi, says it is beautiful and also exciting to read in the eyes of her elderly the happiness of a remote visit with the people they love. How does it work? all by appointment. A meeting coordinated by our operators every quarter of an hour. We find ourselves talking (sometimes even screaming a bit, given meters that separate people) between the entrance and the street or separated by the distance between the hedge and the terrace. And often tears, smiles and greetings are documented with photographs published on the Facebook page of the Foundation, which in turn has become a meeting place for wider family groups. We have a couple here that the other day we united and brought to the terrace. Below, outside our park, there were children and grandchildren all together. it was a greeting that moved everyone.
La Rsa Boccardo di Pancalieri (Turin)
From the Rsa Boccardo di Pancalieri (Turin) the medical director Donato Calocero is proud of the fact that the virus never came from him, the result of a closure decided already on February 23 and in force at least until May 30. In the meantime, we have discovered that our guests have equipped themselves: a man has given an appointment to his son behind the glass of his window that gives on the sidewalk, a grandson chats with his grandfather who speaks to him from the balcony. The other day a gentleman came to visit a friend of ours who was our guest but was unable to meet him. He left and after a few minutes he returned with an ice cream. He told us: can you at least give him this? So we organized a meeting between the two divided by the window at the entrance. was very touching.
Charisma, Bergamo nursing home
Fabrizio Lazzarini, director of Carisma, a nursing home in Bergamo, says that sooner or later we have to start with the meetings, otherwise we protect them from infection but we risk killing them out of disaffection. And also Raffaele Antonello Incalzi, president of the Italian Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics, convinced that the time has come to allow the meetings. With due caution we can and must do – he says – because we know that in these months the feeling of abandonment has affected the health of the elderly. They all focus on families but the virus has destroyed the rhythms of life, the movements, the relationships also within the Rsa themselves and this has made things worse. the time has come to loosen the isolation.
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