Despite a recent GAO report detailing persistent infection control violations at nursing homes throughout the United States, many states are waiving liability for these facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To date, at least 20 states have issued executive orders or enacted legislation temporarily absolving long-term care and assisted living facilities unless “gross negligence” or “willful misconduct” can be proven. Continue reading
Photo: Deborah Crowe
When we first learned of widespread incidence and deaths from COVID-19 in a Seattle-area nursing home, many in the aging and health care fields already knew what was ahead. Since early March, Missouri, California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and nearly every other state have reported cases, More than 5,500 nursing home residents had died from coronavirus-related conditions as of April 15.
The real number undoubtedly is higher, since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services only recently announced new regulatory requirements to report cases of COVID-19 directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many deaths early in the pandemic likely were attributed to age-related complications from flu, pneumonia, or pre-existing heart and breathing problems. So how are states helping to protect their most vulnerable residents? Continue reading
The coronavirus pandemic has put the LGBTQ community at increased risk for severe illness and death if they develop COVID-19. A lifetime of systemic discrimination and poorer health outcomes can make older LGBTQ people especially vulnerable, according to LGBT advocates. Continue reading
Photo: Deborah Crowe
Is home health care the next COVID-19 hot spot? It may very well be, according to home care workers and leaders of a union that represents many of them. In a video press conference on April 15, several home care workers said that neither their agency nor the federal government was doing enough to keep them safe.
Social distancing while performing in-home care is impossible due to the intimate nature of their jobs, said the workers, who provide personal assistance and health care support. Continue reading
More than two-thirds of states (plus the District of Columbia and several territories) have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.
But when it comes to its use by older adults, there are just as many questions as answers. Continue reading
The COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe has been particularly fatal to older adults. Outbreaks in long-term care facilities like the one in Kirkland, Wash., drive home the extreme vulnerability of our nation’s elders.
The CDC’s March 28 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) looked specifically at severe outcomes in older adults from COVID-19. The first preliminary reports from China found fatality rate was highest among patients over 60, particularly among those with underlying conditions; the rate was as high as 27% for those 85 and older. Continue reading