How the Pandemic has Affected Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living facilities have been significantly affected since the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Statistics indicate that more than 479,000 people have contracted the virus in U.S. senior care facilities. One of the major outbreaks in the United States was witnessed in a nursing home in Washington. Other facilities countrywide were ravaged by the virus and recorded increased infections.
Coronavirus exacerbates problems to an already fragile system of assisted living, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes. The industry has been facing endemic problems such as limited funding, underpaid staff, and poor communication with loved ones. The outbreak of coronavirus has exposed these problems, and they have become a subject of public debate.
Additionally, the global crisis exposed how assisted living facilities Asheville NC are less prepared for such outbreaks. For instance, half of the COVID-19 deaths in Kansas are from senior living. Moreover, as of October 26, more than 50 senior living facilities grappled with the coronavirus outbreak. Facilities in the state struggle with staff availability and turnover, which has been an endemic problem for assisted living facilities.
COVID-19 is not the only problem assisted living facilities are facing. When the system is fragile, it exacerbates further problems, especially when faced with a pandemic. According to a recent article by KQED, titled Older and Overlooked, thousands of senior living facilities located in California are at risk of wildfires. The report found out that most facilities have poor evacuation plans in place and limited emergency exits. In fact, some staff barely recognizes evacuation plans in their facilities. Thus, when faced with such disasters, the number of casualties is expected to be high.
For instance, California is grappling with coronavirus and wildfires. More than half of the facilities reporting an increased number of infections are at risk of wildfires. This year, wildfires have had a devastating effect and have threatened facilities such as Fairfield and Vallejo.
According to the Population Reference Bureau’s analysis of U.S. census data, the number of individuals aged 85 and above is expected to triple from the current 6.7 million to 19 million in 2060. Thus, improving assisted living facilities Asheville NC and across the U.S is a growing concern. Experts warn that the current systems cannot support the growing number of the older population.
The current assisted living facilities need to be equipped to better support emergencies such as pandemics and climate disasters. Experts indicate that the facilities’ setting needs to shift from a medical-based model to institutions that honor and take care of their staff and clients.
Individuals with loved ones in assisted living facilities have aired out their concerns. For instance, a Missouri participant indicated that her mother was in a horrible assisted living facility. The nursing home had occupational and physical therapy that did not suit her mother’s need. Moreover, her mother was facing a threat of discharge if she didn’t cooperate. Another participant from North Carolina indicates her dissatisfaction with the nursing care, which served his late mother. He indicates that the patient’s wound would go unattended for several days.
The number of complaints involving assisted living facilities has been growing over the past years. The problem is mainly because of the limited funding, unequipped facilities, and low compensation for the staff. Due to poor performance, outbreaks such as coronavirus stress these facilities and a record-high number of infections and deaths. Thus, assisted living facilities NC need to be equipped like Silverbell Homestead to increase efficiency.