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  • Jill Vitale-Aussem

Nursing Homes Need Support, Not Blame

Updated: Apr 12, 2020


I had hoped, with the current focus on healthcare workers as heroes, that the demonizing of nursing homes would cease during the pandemic.


It hasn’t.


I've seen very few news stories blaming hospitals when patients die from COVID-19 but nearly every story about people dying in a nursing home outbreak somehow blames the nursing home.


While there are always some bad apples, the vast majority of nursing homes are full of incredibly talented, passionate and dedicated leaders and team members who are doing the very best they can during a devastating and unprecedented time.


A recent survey conducted by McKnight’s found that 77 percent of nursing home respondents were lacking personal protective equipment (PPE). This isn’t due to lack of trying or stingy budgets. These organizations are working around the clock trying to source PPE. They order supplies only to have the deliveries intercepted for care settings deemed more critical. Unable to procure what they need through normal channels, they’re begging for PPE donations and asking people to sew gowns and masks.


Even the strongest leaders I know – those that have created empowered teams, excellent infection control protocols and incredibly well-run communities – are struggling, working seven days a week, implementing every infection control procedure they can.


And still, it’s not enough.


The virus gets in, not because of lax screening procedures, but because so many people are carrying the virus with no symptoms.


When the virus takes hold and Elders die, it’s not only the families that grieve. Those that have loved and supported these Elders for years are devastated. And during the pandemic, there is also an incredible amount of guilt. “Was I the person that unknowingly brought the virus in? Is it my fault that Alice died?”


Instead of being blamed, nursing homes need to be supported and nurtured during this incredibly difficult time.


Here’s what you can do:


1. Remember, it’s not just nursing homes that are struggling. All Elder care providers are fighting hard against COVID-19.


2. Share every positive story you see about the incredible creativity, love and compassion that’s happening in Elder care right now.


3. Contact local Elder care organizations. Ask if you can help in some way. Order food for the staff, donate money, find some way to show your support.


4. When you see negative stories about nursing homes or other Elder care organizations, write letters to the editor, contact journalists. Speak up!


5. Do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19 to Elder care settings. Unless you're an essential worker, stay home.






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47 commentaires


athibedau27
20 avr. 2020

Everyone blames the care takers,the facility,this or that but as a CNA sometimes I wonder where has the family been? Don't drop off your family member and forget about them until its too late. They often wonder where is my family,why dont they visit? We are not perfect but we do our best to care for your loved ones.

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kwolfe334
20 avr. 2020

I am a RN in a nursing home and we do care about our residents. It hurts when they die and the family cant be there.

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butch.kate
19 avr. 2020

I work in a Independent/Assisted Facility and my biggest issue is not the people on the outside but my Residents on the inside. I truly do not think they get the seriousness of this Covid. We the staff are the buffers between them and this virus. I feel very proud to say ALL our Residents and Staff are virus free and that is due to our great ED making sure we are following the policies enforced by our Corporate Office. What could I say to the Residents that say,”well you get to leave here and go” Do you really think I enjoy wearing a mask n gloves all day wherever I go? No I don’t but I do it to…

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ccross
19 avr. 2020

I work in an ALF in the office. In the last month I have been in the front lines. I have a new appreciation for the incredible job the CNA’s do daily. But under the new guide lines wearing the PPE gear it is tormenting, painful and suffocating. But still with all that they keep coming in and doing more each day.

The reward that I hold on to is listening to our resident’s thanking us for all we do for them.

God, please continue looking over us

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linkeller13
19 avr. 2020

I have worked as a nurse in a SNF for most of my 40 years on the job I have loved my residents shopped for them cooked for them and cared for them please remember we are all nurses and we deserve the same respect

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