Many of the COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift across the nation, yet senior living communities are continuing no-visitation policies, which is the right choice. Unless visitation policies are changed, or comprehensive screening is put in place, older adults are still at risk. Data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that older adults and the elderly are at an elevated risk of contracting the virus and dying from complications. Are seniors going to continue to be protected as Americans return to work and begin to kick start the economy?
Despite extensive and restrictive lockdowns, the senior population across the nation was the hardest hit. Within 14 states, more than half of the total deaths occurred in facilities for the elderly. The states of Connecticut, Colorado, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, Massachusetts, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Minnesota—over 55% of all deaths were seniors. New York State and New Jersey had the most nursing home deaths, yet the state of Florida reported fewer deaths acting early and protecting its senior population. Unfortunately, policy decisions made by politicians resulted in many unnecessary deaths within these senior living facilities. Orders were issued requiring nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients being discharged from hospitals. The orders even barred the senior care homes from asking if patients had the virus.
Perhaps as restrictions ease, politicians will stand clear and stop interjecting with their experts. As hardworking Americans begin to rebuild the economy, our senior population is still at risk from the virus. It is going to take a continued effort from everyone working within the field of senior care to keep the most vulnerable safe. Perhaps senior care providers will continue to adapt and implement new policies without government intervention. The goal should be to keep them safe, mentally well, and living a healthy life with their friends and loved ones.
Nickolaus Hayes is a healthcare professional in the field of substance abuse and senior care. He utilizes his experience in his writing to provide an expert viewpoint. His primary focus is spreading awareness by educating individuals on the topics surrounding these issues. He is a featured author of the healthcare website ECDOL.