Covid-19: one dead among others at the Ehpad

“If it is, he did not die from the Covid-19 but from a feeling of abandonment, which is worse than anything. We have no right to kill people like that. “ Nadya told us about her father’s death on April 5 in a Val-d’Oise nursing home. Aged 85, with Alzheimer’s disease, he was admitted in October and only survived six months.

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First alert in mid-March, when the government announced the first containment measures for a Friday the following Monday. “Ehpad management then told us that we could go see him on Sunday. All the families came like us, but he couldn’t know it would be a goodbye. ” His father was quickly diagnosed as symptomatic, although without a formal test, under reinforced isolation. “But confining an Alzheimer’s is like locking up a four year old child, he doesn’t understand why!” Telephone connection attempts will be in vain: “It was never possible, we were always told that he was sleeping.”

“They have gone too far”

Nadya will once succeed in breaking through the doors of the nursing home, after threatening to reach her father’s room by climbing a ladder. “However, I had an old FFP2 mask at home, but I was asked not to put it on so as to offend the nursing assistants who only have simple masks.” On site, she notices that the door handles of the rooms have been dismantled, replaced by fire chains. “We can’t confine people like that in 10 m2, without a phone or television, it’s called kidnapping. They have gone too far, abusing vulnerable people who cannot rebel and take confinement for unwarranted punishment. However, we are in France, not in China! ”

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She says she has nothing against nursing home staff, nurses or caregivers doing what they can. “I saw tears in my eyes.” Reserving his rage to the direction, to the system. “For seventeen days, he went around in his room, freaking out. When I finally got to see him, he had the beard of a homeless man. We should however have the right to take them out for an hour a day, like everyone else. ”

“Like cattle”

In early April, the fever subsided, there was only a small cough: he was told that his father no longer had symptoms of the virus. Two days later, he died on the night of April 4 to 5. In the morning, Nadya was supposed to come and bring her a cell phone. “He died alone, locked up, with no one around him, feeling abandoned. It’s the hardest thing to accept in mourning. ” Hearing his daughter, the corpse would have remained two more nights in his death bed, due to lack of space in the mortuary room of the Ehpad. Then once the body finally moved, impossible to approach it: “We had to meditate in the parking lot. They treat everything like cattle. ” Except for this detail: “We were still asked to collect our belongings, but under the threat of an invoice of 80 euros per day.”

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Between sadness and anger, Nadya draws this conclusion: “We have been targeting hospitals for too long, leaving the Ehpad abandoned.” She plans to file a complaint, “So that they assume”.

Renaud Lecadre



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