Residents and healthcare workers at nursing homes are quickly falling prey to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic spreading through America, with at least five deaths of residents reported last weekend.
Coronavirus has proved especially deadly to the elderly and those with compromised immune systems or underlying conditions, and residents at nursing homes fall within this at-risk group. Housing in close quarters also makes nursing homes especially vulnerable to spread.
According to the U.S Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, 47 nursing homes across 27 states have at least one resident with coronavirus.
ABC News reports that just over the last weekend:
- 66 residents at a nursing home Mt. Airy, Maryland tested positive, 11 were hospitalized, and 1 died.
- 115 residents at the Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation outside of Nashville, Tennessee tested positive, and 2 died.
- 37 residents and 6 healthcare workers at the Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Richmond, Virginia, tested positive, 18 of which were this weekend, and 2 residents died Friday.
- 21 residents and 8 employees at the Sundale Nursing Home in Morgantown, West Virginia, tested positive.
Some nursing homes are being evacuated to prevent further spread among residents, such as the St. Joseph’s Senior Home in Woodbridge, New Jersey, after all 94 residents tested positive. The Gallatin Center in Nashville was also evacuated this week.
It was a nursing home, the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, that was at the center of the state’s coronavirus outbreak. A New York Times report on March 10 called nursing homes “islands of isolation” with shocking mortality rates. Elderly patients with various medical complications in close quarters has led to a far from ideal situation in nursing homes.
What You Can Do
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It’s a stressful time for those with loved ones in nursing homes. Most nursing homes have stopped in-person visits, and isolation also poses a threat to the mental health and well-being of nursing home residents. But you can still remain connected via phone or video chat. You can also contact the nursing home to check if they have a contingency plan to deal with coronavirus. The nursing home owes a great responsibility toward its patients and families, especially during a public health crisis such as this one.
It is important to stay positive and help your loved ones through the crisis. And important to thank the front line workers who are taking care of our loved ones.
At the Sundale Nursing home in Virginia, hospice workers who can’t enter the premises have set up a sign that says “Love and Hope” in bright pink letters. This is the kind of positive effort we need in these difficult times.
Know that our firm is here for you 24/7, and we’re honored to continue serving you as always during the Covid-19 pandemic. Reach out to us at (800) 794-0444.