By Barrier Free Japan with extracts translated from The Jomo Shimbun
September 10 2020
GUNMA – In residential facilities for children with severe disabilities who have both intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities, on high alert to the possibility of new coronavirus infections, access problems continue. This is because some people are wearing a ventilator and there is a strong concern that the patient may become seriously infected. Some parents have been unable to see their children for nearly half a year, and the parties are forced to live far from their daily lives. The facility is also searching for compatibility with infection prevention, such as by using online to meet the needs of families.
“When my father calls out, he reacts.” A woman living in the central prefecture, where her son is in a facility for severely and physically disabled children, looked back at an online video call and squinted. Her son needs medical care, and if he is infected with the new corona, it may become serious. She has been able to meet online and through the window, but she can’t stand by, hold his hand or stroke his cheek.
After the declaration of emergency, the economic and social activities in the prefecture are gradually resuming. However, in welfare facilities where there is a high risk of being infected, such as in a facility where a female son is admitted, he will not let go of things, such as setting access restrictions.
The woman complains, “Even if my son feels sick, I can only hear the situation from the staff on the phone, which causes anxiety. Children who are originally prone to being buried in society. I want you to know this fact.”
At the facility you are going to visit, you may be interrupted during the flu epidemic, but you don’t know when your normal life will come back this time. “I understand the difficulty of the staff of the facility. Without corona.” The desire for a reunion with his son grows.
The facility side is also struggling to respond. Midori City’s “Nursing Center Kibo” resumed the visit that it had been discontinuing from March, temporarily in June, while limiting the time and number of people. However, after the prefecture’s alertness rose again, it was limited to visits through glass. The person in charge said “I want to be careful while (infection prevention)” and tighten my mind.
At the “Hanna Sawarabi Nursing Center,” a facility for severely and physically disabled children in Takasaki City, we have an interview using the free communication application “LINE”. The person in charge explains the meaning, “The user’s reaction is very good because you can see the family’s voice and face even on the line.” On top of that, he asks for understanding, “If you place the highest priority on user safety and health, you must continue to visit online.”