What can nursing homes and other care facilities do to provide better care for the elderly and reduce the spread of the virus? How has elder care with COVID changed healthcare forever?
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about elder care in the era of COVID-19.
COVID and Nursing Homes
Close living conditions and poor facility sanitation contributed to the high number of cases of COVID-19 in nursing homes. Elderly people often have weaker immune systems too. So, they may experience more severe symptoms of COVID-19 including difficulty breathing and high fever.
COVID-19 hot spots in nursing homes were also caused by a lack of testing. Some long-term health care facilities are claiming to have financial issues that could prevent them from getting the resources they need to control COVID-19.
Elder care in the age of COVID needs to improve. Below is a list of precautions facilities can take to reduce the contracting and spread of COVID-19 as well as other viruses.
And if you have a parent or loved one in a nursing home and you suspect abuse, look at this list of warning signs for more information.
Improving Care for Elderly
In order to improve elder care in nursing homes, the residents, staff, and visitors should be required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as much as possible. Exceptions can be made when eating or drinking or for those that have breathing problems.
Facilities should regularly test staff and residents to detect asymptomatic cases of COVID-19. Patients with symptoms of COVID-19 should also be tested to confirm cases. Once a case is confirmed, COVID-19 outbreak protocol should begin.
New admissions to nursing homes should be tested. They may also be asked about previous COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure. Facilities may create a quarantine policy for new admissions if possible.
Visitors should be limited and, if possible, tested before visiting. They should be required to wear PPE and remain socially distant during their visit. Nursing homes may change their policy regarding visitors as the geographic trends change. If you wish to visit someone in a nursing home, call the facility first to ask about their visitation policies.
Some nursing homes may help residents facilitate video calls with friends or family when in-person visits are not permitted. Social support and interaction is an important part of keeping an elderly person happy and healthy.
The Rights of Elderly People
All people deserve to live in a safe environment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing homes became unsafe zones for contracting the virus and spreading it.
Facilities have started to implement some of the policies listed above to make living conditions safer for residents and staff members. If you have questions about your loved one’s elder care facility, call and ask questions about precautions they are taking.
And if you suspect any kind of elder abuse in a facility in the St. Petersburg area, contact us today. We can help.