WE HEAR THE COVID -19 FACTS EVERY DAY

 

From China: 98% of people will likely recover unless over age of 60 (Death rate 6.4% -13.4%).

From the CDC: Social distancing is one of the most powerful weapons to combat its spread.

From the CDC: Nursing home living and age over 65 present high-risk for severe illness.


      This information, interesting to many, is cold comfort to nursing homes because:

    • ALL residents are over 60 (chronologically or physiologically)
    • ALL residents need direct care every day so social distancing is NOT possible

These facts are hard to hear for residents and families

     Hard to experiences as a front-line healthcare worker

          And do not tell the full story!


The full story starts with a salute to all the healthcare workers caring for the residents.

They know the risks they face every day and also know that someone’s child or spouse or sibling is counting on them to meet all the needs of their loved one. The “no-visit” policy adds to family guilt and sadness and increases the needs of the residents – needs met by healthcare workers. The increase in deaths in nursing homes also weighs heavily on the workers as they have developed bonds with the residents, often have close attachments, and sometimes see their own parents or grandparents in the resident.

Central to the full story is the risk from frailty – present to some degree in every resident.

Frailty increases the risk for complications at the best of times and magnifies the risk for infections. The CDC identifies several chronic conditions known to increase the risk for Covid-19 and frailty increases in the presence of these conditions. Hence, sadly, the number of deaths we are seeing in the nursing home population and the difficult decisions being made my families and medical providers. Decisions are slightly less difficult when the resident has expressed and documented their wishes for the approach to care they wish to receive when they can no longer make decisions. One story on this very topic is worth reading:   

https://khn.org/news/coronavirus-medical-directives-end-of-life-planning/ 

In the article, also run on CNN, several organizations are mentioned for assistance in completing documents known as “Advance Care Directives”. In addition, another option for digital documentation of wishes is ADVault My Directives https://mydirectives.com/

     NOW is the time to understand the impact of frailty.

        NOW is the time to document our wishes.

 The full story ends with a salute to all the healthcare workers caring for the residents.

Ironically this is the “Year of the Nurse” and they are being challenged like no other year. Still the principles of nursing care ring especially true for every healthcare worker. Over 100 years after her death we are guided by Florence Nightingale:  “Every nurse ought to be careful to wash her hands very frequently during the day. If her face, too, so much the better.”   


 

Our entire team at Patient Pattern salutes you for the care you provide to the most vulnerable every day and more than ever thank you for all the sacrifices you are making every day.