Expert Pitch
University of Michigan

Sheria Robinson-Lane: Why have nursing homes been hit so hard by the coronavirus?

22-Jun-2020 9:00 AM EDT, by University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR—Nursing home residents and workers account for about one-third of COVID-19 deaths in the United States, so far, according to media reports.

Sheria Robinson-Lane, a gerontologist and assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing, is an expert in palliative and long-term care and nursing administration. Her research focuses on the care and support of older adults with cognitive and/or functional disabilities, and on ways older adults adapt to changes in health, particularly how adaptive coping strategies affect health outcomes.

Why is the risk so much greater in nursing homes?

Some of our most vulnerable adults live in nursing homes. Just to qualify for a nursing home stay, whether for short-term rehabilitation or long-term care, you must require 24-hour nursing care. This care is generally necessary as a result of significant injury, like a fractured hip or a traumatic brain injury, or related to worsening of chronic disease.

In general, more than 90% of older adults have at least one chronic disease. More than 70% have at least two chronic diseases. In nursing homes, this number starts to go up significantly. As a result of chronic disease and/or injury, people in nursing homes generally do not have optimal immune system functioning, so it’s a lot easier for them to get sick in general.

When you add to that living and working in close quarters with others, both the folks who live there and the people that take care of them are at risk for infectious diseases. Managing the transmission of infection is nothing new for nursing homes, but the incredibly contagious nature of COVID-19 has made this very challenging to contain within nursing homes. Unfortunately, due to the already weakened state of many of the residents of these facilities, getting sick is often fatal.

How do I decide whether to bring my loved one home to live with me, temporarily?

The choice to place a loved one in a nursing home is a challenging decision that families struggle with from the very beginning. The reality is, the vast majority of people in nursing homes have care needs that cannot be easily met in a home environment.

For others, it’s possible they could successfully transition to a home environment with the right community services in place. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, many community-based programs are struggling to meet the needs of current clients.

So the primary thing to consider and question to ask when thinking about bringing someone home is, exactly what are the care needs of my loved one, and do we have what we need to effectively manage their care at home?

Other questions to consider:

And, probably the most important question is, do they want to go home with you?

If there have already been COVID cases at the facility where a family member is, and you are comfortable with their care needs at home, it is also important to remember that they may have already been exposed to the virus, and so there should be a plan for in-home quarantine, as well, for 14 days after discharge from the facility. This means thinking about how to keep them isolated from other family members during this time.

Is it safer for my older adult loved one to be in my home than in a nursing home?

The answer here is that it depends. The safest place for any older adult is where they can get all of their care needs met effectively and have the least amount of exposure to COVID-19. Most facilities should have plans in place for socially isolating COVID positive patients. Bringing a loved one home can be the safest place for them if there are no essential workers in the home, appropriate precautions are taken when it is necessary to leave the home (mask-wearing and handwashing), and you are able to meet all of their care needs.

What policies at the state and federal level could lessen the risk for nursing home residents?

Nursing homes are currently very heavily regulated at both the state and federal level. There are specific rules around how infections are tracked within facilities, necessary postings, expectations regarding care and, of course, sanitation.

I think that the primary thing that will lessen the risk for nursing home residents and staff is to significantly expand rapid testing availability. This would make it so much easier for facilities to be able to appropriately quarantine sick residents, limit spread and manage staffing.

Access to adequate PPE also continues to be a concern for direct care staff, so there should be an efficient way for staff to be able to anonymously report concerns to the state so there is no fear of retaliation.

Biography :
Sheria Robinson-Lane, a gerontologist and assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing, is an expert in palliative and long-term care and nursing administration. Her research focuses on the care and support of older adults with cognitive and/or functional disabilities, and on ways older adults adapt to changes in health, particularly how adaptive coping strategies affect health outcomes.




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 2836
access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 10-Aug-2020 8:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 7-Aug-2020 7:30 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 10-Aug-2020 8:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 7-Aug-2020 2:25 PM EDT
Alcoholism treatment is potentially effective against COVID-19
National Research University - Higher School of Economics (HSE)

A team of chemists from HSE University and the Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry used molecular modelling to find out that two medications that have been known for a long time can be used to fight SARS-CoV-2.

Newswise: 239651_web.jpg
Released: 7-Aug-2020 1:10 PM EDT
Electric cooker an easy, efficient way to sanitize N95 masks, study finds
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Owners of electric multicookers may be able to add another use to its list of functions, a new study suggests: sanitization of N95 respirator masks.

Released: 7-Aug-2020 12:05 PM EDT
Study: Most Americans don't have enough assets to withstand 3 months without income
Oregon State University

A new study from Oregon State University found that 77% of low- to moderate-income American households fall below the asset poverty threshold, meaning that if their income were cut off they would not have the financial assets to maintain at least poverty-level status for three months.

Released: 7-Aug-2020 11:55 AM EDT
COVID recovery choices shape future climate
University of Leeds

A post-lockdown economic recovery plan that incorporates and emphasises climate-friendly choices could help significantly in the battle against global warming, according to a new study.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 11-Aug-2020 11:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 7-Aug-2020 10:55 AM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 11-Aug-2020 11:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 7-Aug-2020 9:45 AM EDT
Potentially predictive humoral immune response markers in COVID-19 patients
Massachusetts General Hospital

Galit Alter, PhD, Group Leader at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Helen Chu, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, University of Washington School of Medicine, and UW Medicine physician, have recently published a paper which identifies five immune response markers which, collectively, were able to correctly classify both convalescent COVID-19 patients and those who did not survive the disease

Released: 7-Aug-2020 9:00 AM EDT
ACSM Publishes Call to Action Addressing COVID-19 and Return to Sports and Physical Activity
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

ACSM published a call to action statement addressing COVID-19 and safely returning to sports and exercise. Authored by ACSM subject matter experts, the statement highlights the current science around COVID-19 and provides 12 action steps to consider. “COVID-19: Considerations for Sports and Physical Activity” is ACSM’s first call to action statement and published in the August issue of Current Sports Medicine Reports.

Newswise: University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute expert leads call to action for harnessing exercise’s health benefits during the pandemic
7-Aug-2020 9:00 AM EDT
University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute expert leads call to action for harnessing exercise’s health benefits during the pandemic
University of Miami Health System, Miller School of Medicine

To address and overcome the challenges so Americans can return to or sustain physical activity safely, Thomas M. Best, M.D., Ph.D., FACSM, professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and research director of the UHealth Sports Medicine Institute, and sports medicine colleagues from around the U.S. wrote “COVID-19: Considerations for Sports and Physical Activity,” published August 7 in Current Sports Medicine Reports, an American College of Sports Medicine journal.


Showing results

110 of 2836

close
1.16887