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  • Jill Vitale-Aussem

Our Devastating Disregard for Eldercare Workers

Updated: Apr 25, 2020





I thought perhaps a few of my friends would check out my first blog post, "Nursing Homes Need Support, Not Blame." To my great surprise, over 144,000 people have read it so far.


What that tells me is that our field is in desperate need of validation and support.

In the past couple of weeks, negative stories about nursing homes have increased. I'm enraged and heartbroken every time a new COVID-19 story breaks. Because I hear first-hand from those in the field how hard they're working, how they're smiling when they feel like crying, and how they refuse to give up in one of the most stressful and terrifying times of their lives.


Why? Because of their dedication to the elders they support.


Eldercare teams are wearing brave faces right now. They're keeping their heads down and doing what needs to be done in the midst of this horrible crisis. They're feeling the pain of seeing hospital workers and first responders being rightly honored, while their own work seems all but invisible to the world. When their profession is mentioned in the news, it's usually under a headline casting blame on the field.


Unless we start supporting those working in eldercare, they'll eventually burn out. They'll be traumatized, not only from battling the virus, but from fighting a war only to have society disregard them.


What will happen then? I predict the fallout will be serious and long-lasting.


Our aging population is growing and the need for care will only increase in the future. We were experiencing a staffing crisis even before the pandemic. Our country can't afford to lose more eldercare professionals. And we can't afford to further stigmatize careers in this field.

We have a big decision to make about how we move forward during this crisis.


Do we value older people in our country? Do we want to be able to support the growing cohort of elders in the future? If so, we need to value and support those who have committed their lives and careers to caring for them.


Want to help?

1. Show your support for nursing homes and other eldercare organizations, especially those that are in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak. Those nursing homes you're seeing on the news are full of human beings who are devastated and hurting. Reach out and ask how you can help.


2. Find ways to honor those that work in nursing homes and other eldercare settings. They deserve, and need, recognition as much as hospital workers, first responders and other essential workers. I know teams that have been lifted up by the simple act of neighbors writing their appreciation in chalk on the sidewalks leading to the building.


3. Share this blog and any other article that supports the field of aging services. Or, better yet, write your own blog, or an opinion piece, or a letter to the editor.

Find your voice and use it!





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7 commentaires


ckiley94
04 mai 2020

I went into self quarantine on 4/20/20 due to health issues and inadequate supply of PPEs. I think it is always bad when you have to struggle with other departments for resident rights but then being told to do your job without proper equipment and no help from the outside for basic PPEs it is sad. They very people you are trying to help are the ones suffering.

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ruddmariam
02 mai 2020

My heart breaks. Praying 🙏❤️ continually. God knows and is faithful.

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fealessmarketer
28 avr. 2020

Great blog, Jill. I know you’ve been working with Shalom — and I can’t say enough good things about them. My mommy is there and I so appreciate the Team. Even more through the quarantine. And yes, they are maintaining such optimism and love for their Elders.

Thank you for your work.

Cheers to global health.

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colleenbarksdale
26 avr. 2020

I have. Been a cna for. 35 years and never have seen such disrespect for the healthcare in nursing homes.we r told to by our own masks, work more,get less,can't bring in food.we have have families that send in food for all 3 shifts as a thank u(work doesn't give any).

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amyyang888
26 avr. 2020

Thanks for sharing this! So important! It's part of the reason I started my blog sharing healthcare workers' stories - to connect with families, future patients and future healthcare workers. If you're interested, you can find it here: https://thelifeinouryears.weebly.com/ Looking forward to connect more on our shared goal! :)

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