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.
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.
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?
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.
Older bodies respond to infection in different ways. Seniors may sleep more or stop eating. They may be confused or dizzy. They might simply collapse.
The Capital Senior Living chain of assisted living communities and others like it were struggling financially before coronavirus suddenly appeared. Now their situation is really getting tough.
Its older volunteers are staying home and its clients, mostly age 75 and up, are more vulnerable than ever.
Families are weighing the challenges of providing home care with the isolation or potential danger of leaving folks in senior housing or long-term care.
Hospitals need to clear out patients who no longer need acute care. But nursing homes are alarmed at the prospect of taking patients who may have the coronavirus.
Hundreds of thousands of people will be able to appeal hospitals’ decisions to classify them as “observation care” patients instead of inpatients, under a ruling last week in a class action suit.
As President Donald Trump called the nation “in good shape” to handle COVID-19, a cache of emails released by officials in Washington state show that top public health authorities feared gear shortages and doctor safety in the early epicenter of sickness and deaths.
One woman’s experience with the high cost of dental care and confusing Medicare coverage offers a teachable moment for other consumers. Her small church took up a collection, but the surprise bill — four times what she expected to pay — was sent to collections.
Since the beginning of 2017, inspectors have cited more nursing homes for failing to ensure that all workers follow federal prevention and control protocols than for any other type of violation, according to federal records.