Coronavirus, Remember, 16.
16. "EHPAD TERMINUS"
Thursday April 2, 2020. There are places in our West - which are neither schools, nor universities, nor hospitals. These are residences where senior citizens - over the age of 60 - with partial or total loss of autonomy are placed, in order to receive the optimal service related to their condition. Highly sensitive places at the time of the pandemic that the government seems to want to talk about only backwards - because more people are dying there than elsewhere. In France, 21% of the French population, or 15.7 million people, are seniors. In 2040, the "papy-boomers" (the baby boomers of the post-war years) will constitute 32% of the French population, or 22.6 million. EHPADs, Accommodation Establishments for Dependent Seniors, number 7,883 in France and provide 557,461 beds - or 70% of housing for this age and needs group. Their residents are on average 84 years and 5 months old. An Ehpad generally has 70 residents. The EHPAD teams are made up of a coordinating doctor, nurses, including a referral nurse, nursing assistants, who support the nurses and take care of daily life, and para-medicalized nursing staff - physiotherapist , occupational therapist, psychomotor therapist. A day in a nursing home costs on average 90.72 euros and is funded 63% by the resident, 28% by the state, and 9% by the general council. In the “Coronavirus 8 diary” dated March 23, I was talking about D, a psychomotor therapist in a nursing home in the Lyon region specializing in Alzheimer's. At the time she spoke of 12 residents who died between March 13 and 23, in 10 days. Those 12 residents who died became 26 on April 2, 14 more in 10 days - 1/3 of the total nursing home population. D. speaks of panicked families with whom she organizes Skype sessions to reassure them, of patients who die alone, untreated, and immediately put in a plastic cover, without even the staff, the last humans to have seen them alive and to have shared a moment of life with them, does not have time to say a last goodbye to them - immediately kidnapped by the snappers dressed in robocop for a summary burial - so many traumatic situations for everyone. In my experience of the death of others, mainly that of my parents, and of my mother whom I lived closely, I had been struck by the fact that, if, as a family, it is written in the book of the life that we will live, at one point or another, the death of our loved ones, and that we can never be ready for this kind of moment, the passing of a loved one, I had been struck by the fact that this death was above all a shared experience, a journey of the living with the future dead until he lets go of his hand, "he is" past ", we used to say -" he is dead! " ". I had also been struck by the unfathomable abyss between the function of persons - and the less qualification, the deeper the abyss - and the gravity of the moment called "death." If the nurse or the doctor are more, by their training, prepared for the death of their patient, the nursing assistants seemed to me to be much more helpless. They were doing their job as a caregiver, but when my mother expelled her last breath in a deep gurgling throat, it was they who first cried, perhaps with pain, but especially because they had been surprised. by the “unimaginable” and that there was injustice in living this moment, as if they were family, because in fact, family or not, the sharing of a death strips the family bond. At the moment of death, at this very powerful moment in life when life stops, we are all stripped, stripped of everything, because the only holders of life in the face of death. So, faced with this woman who was taking her last breath, we were tied before the inexplicable end of life. Such and such knelt, such and such burst into tears as she would have for a parent. This is what D. psychomotor therapist in nursing home tells us. She does not understand why so far no personnel have been detected, making them potentially vectors of death. She does not understand why no backup personnel were sent - 18 personnel are sick. The idea that her nursing home, which she and her colleagues are doing everything they can to make alive and livable, suddenly become a lonely dying place draws them into abysses of sadness from which they will have difficulty escaping.