The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all. Whether it be financially or physically, this global crisis has touched millions. The elderly community has been one of the hardest-hit groups. We’ll unpack the staggering stats and take a deeper look at how COVID-19 has taken its toll on our most vulnerable population.
COVID-19 and the Elderly
According to the Wall Street Journal, 43% of COVID-19 related deaths have happened in nursing homes. That’s around 50,919 people as of early June. As states and cities begin to reopen, this number is still expected to increase. It is also important to note that these numbers could be even higher in these homes than what’s reported. Data collection varies by each state making it difficult to find an official number. Most commonly, people who are dying from COVID-19 are older and have underlying health conditions. Other health complications can make it difficult for healthcare providers to treat COVID-19. The elderly are also having a harder time fighting off the virus and responding to treatment.
Nursing Home Battles
In almost all states, visitors to nursing homes have been banned for some length of time. Staff and healthcare providers are often the only people allowed into the facilities while the pandemic is still spiking. While some states have eased their stay at home orders, most haven’t lifted nursing home restrictions. It can be heartbreaking for the residents as well as their families to be unable to see them in person. For staff members, it is imperative that they remain as quarantined as possible on off-hours to help keep the residents safe. This can be difficult if staff members live with other essential workers or live in larger households. Without a cure or vaccine, it can be hard to trust that a loved one is safe in a nursing home. Once one resident or staff member has it, it can be almost impossible to contain the spread.