We’ve all seen the dreadful stories on the news about seniors bearing the brunt of this pandemic with more than 28,000 deaths in nursing homes, one in three deaths in the US. Families have been forced to mourn in solitude. Those still fighting are consumed by loneliness, unable to have visitors.
Medical gear shortages have only exacerbated the situation. Staff are overwhelmed and overworked, with women making up almost 90% of all elder care workers. A tragic mistake was made to send COVID positive patients back to nursing homes, sending them away from hospitals and infecting other residents. These nursing homes find themselves overwhelmed and unable to care for their residents properly.
Fortunately, a recent mandate requires nursing home staff to get tested for the virus twice a week, a good step in the right direction. However, nursing homes still account for most of the deaths! We are doing our best to make changes and deal with the situation, but it’s unfortunate that this was the vulnerable population hit hardest.
If this tragedy has taught us anything it’s that we must rethink how our healthcare systems are set up, how our facilities function, and how we prepare for the worst. We must take better care of our elderly.