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David lives in a care home – locked inside a crisis, and terrified. We can do better

7 12 37
22.04.2020

“On Friday, another resident of my unit returned from hospital having recovered from coronavirus symptoms. Since his return I have discovered two residents of my unit have died in the care home, but I don’t know the cause,” writes David (not his real name). “There are two other residents in our unit who have been hospitalised with a high temperature and a cough but they have not been tested.”

For the past week, David has emailed me from inside one of Britain’s coronavirus-struck care homes. As the government is accused of treating social care as an “afterthought” and one prominent member of the media talks of care home “inmates”, you won’t hear much from people like David – but he is one of the thousands of disabled and older care home residents across the country who are locked inside a national crisis.

David is not your stereotypical care home user. He’s only in his 40s, but progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) means he’s been in residential care for the past three years. The left side of his body and his right leg don’t move as he instructs them to, but as he puts it, “my eyes, ears and brain” work fine.

There are around 150 residents in the home. Nowadays, only........

© The Guardian