At some nursing homes, residents will be vaccinated for the first time next Monday against corona. But in many other nursing homes, residents have no idea how long they have to wait for the shot. For some of them, as well as their caregivers, it cant be fast enough.
Fred Weinberg (90), resident of a nursing home in Amsterdam, was told last week that he might have corona, he says on the phone. “They told me I might have it, but I didnt feel anything. Coughing is, but I always do coughing.”
In the end, he was tested negative, and now he is waiting for the vaccination. When he gets the inoculation? He has no idea. “That doesnt matter to me at 90th.” For a moment, he even thought he had already had the vaccination. “Ah, I get so many pricks.”
In nursing homes across the country, elderly people are waiting for vaccination. Adri van der Nat (95), in a nursing home in Rotterdam, hopes that she will get the shot soon so she can cuddle again with her son:
Weinberg thinks that this prick will provide protection against the coronavirus is a reassuring thought. He remembers the first wave, when the residents were not allowed to leave their room and were not allowed to receive a visit for a while, and he knows the stories of fellow residents who died of corona. After vaccination, he does not have to worry so much about the virus anymore. “Thats nice.”
78-year-old Essi Roestenburg is not exactly looking forward to the shot, but she is certainly not going to refuse him, she says. “If you have to, then you have to.” She does not talk about it with other residents, because since corona there is not much contact with each other anymore.
In the meantime, it is not yet known exactly when she and her fellow residents will receive the vaccination at the nursing home in Houten, tells Essis husband Peter, and what vaccine that will be. On Thursday, the health care facility announced that it will probably be the week of 25 January. “Weve also been asked to talk about it so that residents know whats going to happen, and fill out a consent form.”
Essi already had corona at the end of last year, like dozens of fellow residents in her department. She does not remember well, but she was very sick for four weeks, tells her husband. She got a high fever, but eventually got better. “There were more doors in that period with a corona sticker on it than without it,” he recalls.
Visit was then only completely wrapped inside with face masks, double aprons, spatglasses and gloves. Now, a medical mouth cap is enough, but the rules are still strict. Residents stay mainly in their rooms and only one adult visitor can enter per occupant at a time.
The first wave was heavy, when all the nursing homes were locked for visits. “That happened overnight, it really shocked us,” says Peter. “That took far too long, from March to June. Essi was just there since January. You could still call, but that didnt always work out. She was depressed, it was horrible.”
Peter remembers at that time when he was lifted to the second floor with a platform to be able to talk to his wife remotely, through the open window. “Then youre standing there in the air. Nice idea, but thats nothing. The employees did what they could, but it was an absurd, sad situation. We never want that again.”
Thats why the vaccinations are more than welcome for Peter. “After that, hopefully, there can be some more. Then we can move a little more freely within the building. For example, once to the restaurant here. And hopefully more than one guest will be allowed to enter.”
Lisette van Ruiswijk (59), who suffers from multiple sclerosis, does not yet know anything concrete about the vaccinations at the nursing home in Ede where she lives. She and her husband Breun have had an unreal year, with the greeting card action for Lisette was a little bright spot.
Also for Breun, vaccination in the Edese nursing home cannot start quickly enough. Because of her illness, his wife is very vulnerable, and even a flu can already lead to serious consequences. “I have indicated that it might be wise to ask the residents for permission now,” says Breun. “That saves time again when the resources are available.”