Other carers have had problems accessing health care, either for themselves or for their loved ones. Ora Larson, 82, due for back surgery in St. Paul, Minnesota, in the spring of 2020, looked forward to relieving the debilitating pain of spinal stenosis. As the hospitals filled with Covid patients, their surgery was postponed to October and then postponed again.
While she waited, “her ability to receive all kinds of therapies went away,” said her daughter Susan Larson, 57. “She couldn’t exercise or have a physical therapist or trainer come in, so she got weaker and weaker and her pain increased. “
As Ms. Larson watched her lively mother become depressed and lose much of her ability to walk, “I felt stressed, like you do when you’re not sure what your next step will be,” she said. Her mother finally had an operation in March and is recovering well.
Further studies will reveal more about the ongoing effects of Covid on caregivers. Perhaps they have adapted as a pandemic cause and their stress has subsided. Some welcome the importance and purpose of helping family members.
However, the accumulated negative effects from month to month could also mean greater hardship. And how Dr. Park stressed that “there would be a greater likelihood of grief and grief.”
The carers interviewed here and their family members have been vaccinated and are slowly starting to resume visits and local trips. But they also recognize that care for the elderly is tending to become more demanding, not less. Those who care for them have lost ground physically and cognitively and may not be able to return to their prepandemic selves.
Stacey Lantagne, 40, a law professor at the University of Mississippi, spent the pandemic with her family in Rhode Island, where she helped care for her grandmother while teaching a full course load online at the same time.