Older adults with the ability to use technology have more access to virtual social interactions and telehealth services, and more opportunities to secure essential supplies online. Those who don’t know how to use it or can’t afford it are at greater risk of social isolation, forgoing medical care and being without food or other necessary items.
Half the states are rolling back strict policies that have kept family members out of nursing homes because of fears of spreading the coronavirus.
Some are grieving the loss of precious time in late life. Others are adjusting their ideas of what is possible and making the best of it.
People who put off care as COVID-19 surged are easing back into the medical system. Here’s how to know if it’s safe.
For three years, staffers at UCLA Health have been quietly fulfilling final wishes for dying patients in the intensive care unit. Amid the isolating forces of the pandemic, their work has become all the more meaningful.
For Art Ballard, the local gym was like his second home. The 91-year-old former jeweler relied on his near-daily workouts to stay healthy and for social interaction. But when California instituted its stay-at-home order, Ballard’s physical health suffered. So did his mental health.
On their own in dirty buildings with little guidance or support, vulnerable older residents worry about unchecked transmission of the potentially deadly virus. “We felt abandoned.”
More than 3,000 nursing homes reported less than a week’s worth of supplies, and 653 said they had run out entirely at some point. Stopgap FEMA equipment has not reached many facilities, and packages that have arrived have fallen short of promises.
As doctors look for alternative ways to charge patients for care, some Medicare enrollees may lose access to their physicians.
Some of Montana’s Native American nations are holding firm on coronavirus protections even as the rest of Montana reopens. They’ve got more at stake, they say, in protecting their elders who preserve their endangered culture.
The guidance to stay sheltered as society slowly reopens wears on older Americans, who have a growing sense of isolation and depression.
One family took up the challenge of taking their mother, who had serious medical problems and the coronavirus, from the hospital to die at home. But because of the risk of infection, home hospice can be a daunting experience.
The pandemic has forced millions of families to weigh the risks of vulnerable grandparents getting too close to their beloved grandchildren — against the heartache of staying away.
Poverty is real in the Coachella Valley, a region known for its glitzy resorts and music festival. During the COVID crisis, the California National Guard and California Conservation Corps are helping an area food bank distribute food to older residents and those with disabilities.
Testing for COVID-19 varies widely across nursing homes and assisted living facilities, even within the same states and communities — increasing the risks for some of America’s most vulnerable seniors.
Still, medical experts say, it’s not a black-and-white decision of either go on a ventilator or die.
Even as COVID-19 has ravaged nursing homes around the country, California has managed to keep the virus at bay at its eight state-run homes for frail and older veterans. What exactly went right?
Elizabeth and Robert Mar would have celebrated 50 years of marriage in August. Instead, they died within a day of each other. Their two very different deaths illustrate how palliative care is changing to help patients and families cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
Nursing homes with COVID-19 infections tend to violate health rules more often and have more complaints and fines, records show. But infections also plague highly rated facilities — while sparing some low-ranked ones.
“The awful truth is families have no control over what’s happening,” one advocate says.