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‘I am 99’: a poem about isolation

By Frances, resident in a care home

 

I’m 99

I enjoyed my life, now it’s an existence

I enjoyed my family, now they’re unreachable

I enjoyed my outings, now I’m trapped

 

I’m 99

I need my family, I’m so lonely

I need a hug, it’s not allowed

I need a chat, but there’s endless silence

 

I’m 99

I’m a prisoner, but I’m innocent

I have rights, but they are ignored

I fought for freedom, but now I have none

 

I’m 99, please help

 

Daughter, Linda, adds:

My mum, Frances, has been in care for 18 months. We live locally so used to visit three times a weeks, taking her out for coffee, shopping and family gatherings. Otherwise she enjoyed watching sports, crosswords and posting on social media. My mum’s care home went into lockdown two weeks before her 99th birthday, cancelling our planned family party. She has spent two months of the past year in isolation in her room. At times even window visits were banned. Currently we are having visits through a glass door, but as mum is deaf this is difficult. Mum’s 100th birthday is soon, I pray somehow we can celebrate.

 

R&RA are campaigning to End Isolation In Care. Find out how you can get involved here.If you have been affected by the issues raised in this story, or would like advice or support on visiting your relative or friend in care, our helpline is here for you.

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