Daughter shares the struggle she faced while her elderly mother was in a care center during COVID-19 pandemic

Carol A Bugdalski-Stutrud wonders what happened to her mother

DETROIT – The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has put a spotlight on some challenges nursing homes face.

A family is sharing their struggle as an example of how hard it can be to care for an elderly family member in the middle of a pandemic.

When Carol A Bugdalski-Stutrud looks at her mother now, she wonders what happened. Ninety days ago her mother, Irene, was relatively active for a 97-year-old.

READ: Coronavirus death toll at neighboring care facilities in Metro Detroit may be worst in US

When she had a minor fall at her assisted living facility in Warren, a decision was made to send her to rehab for skilled nursing. That was before the state of Michigan shut down because of COVID-19 and what happened next was a series of events Bugdalski-Stutrud calls horror stories.

Like many families, Bugdalski-Stutrud was cut off from her mother -- other than window visits. She couldn’t assess her health, couldn’t see that she was losing weight, not getting meds. Her belief is that her mother became a side effect of overworked and waning staff because of COVID-19.

When Bugdalski-Stutrud moved her mother to a second care center -- the same thing happened.

Before this all began, her mother was 100 pounds. Now, she’s barely 75. She has stopped eating. She is shutting down.

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