Dozens of charges are currently pending against homes for the elderly in the Madrid and Barcelona regions. This includes healthcare institutions where up to 33 residents have died from the virus. Nursing homes are accused of doing too little to protect residents’ lives during the pandemic.
Elsewhere it was possible to limit the damage. Spanish retirement home San Geronimo made a great decision this spring. As a precaution against the Corona virus – which was unknown at the time – employees locked themselves with residents for weeks.
San Jeronimo Home for the Elderly is located along the river in Estela, northern Spain. The former monastery is surrounded by a huge botanical garden. It is one of more than 5,000 nursing homes in Spain.
“The idea of locking us up here with more than sixty residents arose in the morning when the state of emergency was declared in Spain,” says director David Cabrero on a bench in the vegetable garden. “Isolating ourselves seemed to be the best way to protect the people we care about.”
It turns out it was 35 days. “And it worked. None of the residents, not even the employees, were hurt. To this day we have succeeded.”
Reporter Rob Zotberg came home and looked back with residents and employees on those special days:
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