Husband of care home resident with Alzheimer’s criticises ‘monstrous’ Covid-19 restrictions
A retired TV producer has blamed “monstrous” Covid-19 restrictions for isolating his wife who suffers from Alzheimer’s and causing her condition to deteriorate.
Michael Blakstad, from Bishopstoke, Hampshire, said that rules for care homes meant his wife, Tricia, 79, being isolated from her family for seven weeks.
The 80-year-old (pictured with Tricia) explained that the unnamed home was not allowing any visitors after two members of staff tested positive for coronavirus, with residents confined to their rooms and restrictions lasting 28 days after the worker’s isolation period.
Mr Blakstad, who has Parkinson’s, told the PA news agency: “Her form of Alzheimer’s means she really likes to keep moving, walking around and as she is stuck in a room, not being able to get out, it’s terrifying.
“It’s been three weeks now and you can see there has been a deterioration.
“She will be another four weeks without visitors, they won’t tell me if she is allowed out of her room, it’s crazy, it’s monstrous.”
He added: “The truth is she is collateral damage, she is friendly fire, she has done nothing to deserve this, obviously Covid is a ghastly disease but so is dementia.
“At the beginning of the pandemic there were a lot of cases in care homes but the Government is vastly over-reacting, it’s throwing a safety blanket over the whole thing, vastly in excess of what is needed.
“It’s not visitors who took Covid into this care home, it was a care-worker.”
Mr Blakstad praised his wife’s “wonderful” care home for its “lovely” staff and added: “It’s the system I am criticising.
“Care homes are all scared stiff of being sued, they are not going to take any mild risk.”
Mr Blakstad said his wife worked as a TV set designer for the BBC including for Doctor Who and Dr Finlay’s Casebook, but she was “gradually losing her cognitive powers”.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who listened to an interview with Mr Blakstad on Radio 4’s Today programme, described the account as “heart-breaking”.
Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2020, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Selina Geddes / Family Handout.