Italian Church group denounces 'silent tragedy' in nursing homes during COVID-19

Church group denounces “silent tragedy” in nursing homes during COVID-19

(Source: MJ/Community of Sant’Egidio)

COVID-19 is killing so many older people. Too many. The situation in Care-Homes is particularly concerning.

Statistics tell us half of all the people who died due to COVID-19 are older people in nursing homes.

The Community of Sant’Egidio has deepened over the years its belief that care-homes are an unfortunate reality, where older people can feel alone and forgotten.

However, we are very concerned at present, as we cannot go on like this!

No one should be left alone, especially the most fragile and vulnerable, in the face of the spread of the pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed life for everyone, but some older people are among the hardest hit. Sant’Egidio is determined to be there during this crisis.

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“Anne’s Letter” is a very immediate, simple and direct letter-appeal written by an elderly woman, Anne, admitted to a nursing home because she chose to go.

It is not a letter of denunciation. Anne does criticise the conditions of institutionalised elders. She asks for friendship and commitment to relieve the loneliness of those who are inside.

It is a request for companionship but also an offer of friendship that underlines the profound dignity of the elderly hospitalised.

The proposal of the letter is not only to do something, even if this is important, but above all it is the desire to break the loneliness of those inside the institute and, many times, also of those outside!

If contagion is physically distancing us, solidarity unites us, makes us stronger in the face of fear and helps to protect us. 

Together we can overturn this situation, so that nobody is alone. Solidarity as the response to COVID-19 will give us all a better world.

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Full text of “Anne’s Letter”:

Next on Novena:

COVID-19: Sant’Egidio founder:For the future it is necessary to have the elderly at home. It’s the most humane and economic solution”

15/4: In Santa Marta Mass, Pope prays for elderly afraid of COVID-19: “They are our roots, our story, our history”

17/3: In Santa Marta Mass, Francis remembers elderly “suffering” in virus crisis, speaks too of “God’s sickness”

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Mada Jurado

Reporter and community manager at Novena
Progressive Catholic journalist, author and educator. Working on social justice, equality and Church renewal.
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