The shortage of staff in long-term facilities and home care agencies has gone from a problem to a crisis. Three rural nursing homes in Maine close because they cannot hire enough staff to maintain care for patients and residents. A nursing home in Oklahoma shuts its doors due to a staff shortages. Same in Kansas. A new industry survey reports [...]
In an attempt to get a handle on the persistent Covid-19 pandemic, President Biden yesterday issued a broad executive order mandating vaccines for a large segment of the US economy, including most of the medical and long-term care industries. His order should give families comfort that most licensed providers, from doctors to home health aides, will be vaccinated. But it [...]
As of Monday, only about 22 percent of the covid-19 vaccine doses that have been distributed for use in long-term care facilities have made their way into the arms of residents and staff. As has been well documented, these residents—nearly all with pre-existing medical conditions and functional and cognitive impairment-- are the most vulnerable to serious illness and death from [...]
The statistics simply are staggering. More than 728,000 residents and staff of long-term care facilities have contracted covid-19 over the past nine months. More than 100,000 have died—a number that has doubled since June. That is equal to roughly the entire population of San Mateo CA, or Green Bay WI. Four of every 10 covid-19 deaths in the US have [...]
President Trump’s newest White House pandemic adviser, Scott Atlas, reportedly is advocating for the strategy of building “herd immunity” to stop the spread of coronavirus. Atlas, who is a neuroradiologist and fellow at the Hoover Institution, would allow the virus to spread as widely and quickly as possible to build immunity in the overall population. Think of it as the [...]
Hundreds of thousands of older adults and younger people with disabilities are living in nursing homes only because that is where Medicaid drives them. They have no clinical need for skilled nursing care, and, if better options were available, many could be living in other settings, including their own homes. Medicaid—the joint state/federal health care program for the very poor—sends [...]
As Covid-19 Batters The Sunbelt, Have We Learned Anything About Protecting Long-Term Care Residents?
What have we learned from the 50,000+ covid-19 deaths of residents and staff in long-term care facilities? As the pandemic spreads aggressively in states such as California, Texas, Arizona, and Florida, we are about to find out. Multiple studies found that facility-based covid-19 cases and deaths from March-May closely tracked the experience in surrounding communities: If a facility was located [...]
We Are Having A National Conversation About Race And Policing. Why Aren’t We Having One About Race And Long-Term Care?
Nearly every American knows who George Floyd was and how he died. Tens of thousands around the country took to the streets to protest his May 25 killing by a Minneapolis police officer. Just a month after his death, the US House of Representatives passed a major police reform bill—normally a process that would take years. If George Floyd has [...]
Nothing I have written lately has generated more heartfelt response than my articles about family members who, due to the covid-19 pandemic, are unable to visit their loved ones in long-term care facilities. And the writers are consistent: They want to visit, no matter the risk. Here are just some of the emails I’ve received in the past few weeks: [...]
The way we care for older adults in the US is, self-evidently, not working. In just the past three months, at least 44,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19. Hundreds of thousands have been sickened. And millions have been isolated from family and friends for months. Yet, this crisis did not [...]