In nursing homes, the loneliness virus

Aging locked up

Wednesday February 3, at 10:40 p.m. on Arte

It is the story of a double sentence. That of nursing home residents during the confinement of last spring linked to Covid-19. For this painful 59-minute documentary Aging locked up, the director Éric Guéret filmed, in immersion, the daily life of the residents of an Ehpad located in the 14e district of Paris.

Here, as in many establishments in France, the elderly have not only been cut down by the Covid-19, but also cut off from the world and their loved ones. Locked up? Protected, the caregivers would say, devoted and powerless.

“We’re not going to lock you up, we’re going to put you to safety”, tries to explain Ms. Rossi, the director of this retirement home, to one of her residents, positive for the coronavirus and forced to remain in isolation in her room.

The documentary makes particularly concrete the ethical questions that shook the staff during this period. How to reconcile the care of people and the safety of each? How to maintain the link and avoid seeing the residents sink and die, not from the coronavirus but from loneliness?

One of the employees of the nursing home admits it: under the pretext of having been protected, some residents have been “ damaged “.

Aging locked up captures these long hours of waiting, of pain but also the solidarity that exists between these walls. The camera makes palpable, with the same sensitivity, the heavy sadness of the coffins that are closed, the softness of a hand or a ray of sunlight on the skin.

The documentary shows above all how the health crisis acted as a revelation of the dysfunctions and the shortages, as well of material, of means as of personnel in nursing homes. An alert on the care of the elderly.


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