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Taking Someone Out of Long-Term Care Due to COVID-19
June 23, 2020
Taking Someone Out of Long-Term Care Due to COVID-19
COVID-19 affects every facet of life, but none are more at risk from this pandemic than the elderly. According to the CDC, 8 out of 10 people who have died from the coronavirus in the United States have been 65 years or older. Given senior’s mortality rate with COVID-19, many families have considered pulling their loved ones out of long-term care, such as nursing homes. This is in an effort to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, since many seniors reside in these establishments. While nursing homes are great for the elderly in a normal situation, the risk of COVID-19 has drastically changed the environment for everyone’s safety. If you haven’t already, there are some different options you have. However, if you are thinking about taking someone out of long-term care due to COVID-19, there are several things to keep in mind before you decide.
Reasons to Take Someone Out
The first area we must get into are the reasons to take someone out of long-term care during this crisis. The first reason has to do with the number of people who generally share a space in nursing homes. While social distancing measures are no doubt intact, nursing homes are vulnerable to coronavirus cases, which only brings increased risk to all residents. The spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes can be devastating, since most of the people who live here are more at risk of contracting the virus. That is why a better option might be to move a senior out of that situation. This is not just to avoid getting COVID-19, but also to decrease the spread of the coronavirus to others who are vulnerable.
The coronavirus has also led to extra precautions such as social distancing tactics, the use of face masks and gloves, limited building capacities, and more. While a nursing home worker might be an essential worker, if they start to show symptoms, then they will be asked to remain at home so that they don’t potentially spread the virus to others. When this occurs, this could mean less medical attention for a senior, which can be dangerous if they need help and the nursing home is shorthanded. This is one facet of nursing homes that is greatly affected by the ongoing pandemic and a reason why you might want to think about taking someone out of long-term care due to COVID-19.
Factors to Consider
If you are seriously thinking about taking your loved one out of senior care because of the coronavirus, then there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Necessary Care - When you pull someone out of long-term care, you are potentially taking them away from the medical attention they need. That is why you need to be certain that you can properly care for someone if you take them out of senior care. If you are not sure of the care someone might need, then you should ask the facility.
- Home Accessibility - In addition to being able to give your loved one the support they need, it’s also important that your home is safe for them. What does this mean? Well, easy accessibility in your home is the key. Are there many stairs in your home? Is the shower safe enough? These are all things you need to keep in mind, so you can make the necessary adjustments around your home.
- Effect on Family - You also must consider what kind of an effect having an extra loved one in your home could have. Taking care of extra responsibilities might be too demanding for your family, which is why you need to have a conversation with them about possibly taking care of someone at home.
- Social Distancing - Everyone still has to deal with the coronavirus, which means practicing safe social distancing. Not only do you have to worry about the health condition of the person you are potentially caring for, but you must also worry about others in your home. It can be dangerous for someone who has a compromised immune system to be exposed to others. If social distancing in your home isn’t possible, then you might want to consider other options.
- Your Exposure - If you are taking someone on, you also must think about what kind of exposure you are getting. Have you been working from home for the last few months or going into the office? If you have been out for work instead of staying at home, that might not be the best situation for the person you’re planning to take in. However, it might still be a better option than leaving someone in a nursing home. This part really relies on where you work and where you have been.
- Health Status - As we mentioned earlier, you also have to think about the health status not just of your loved one, but also of the others in your home. Has anyone in the home been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms? The current health of everyone involved should be your priority, especially during these trying times.
- Facility Return - There are also some important questions you will want to ask the long-term care facility. With so many families and individuals contemplating this decision, will the facility take someone back once they leave? This is an important question to ask those who are in charge.
- Personal Preference - You must also take into account the person you plan on caring for—what’s their perspective? Do they feel more comfortable being in a nursing home or in someone’s home? Their personal preference needs to be considered before any decision is made.
Deciding to put someone in a nursing home is already a tough decision to reach and it has now become even harder due to the unprecedented times we are all living in. Caring for someone else can also be a full-time responsibility; you need to be up to the challenge.
Consider Home Care
At-home nursing services are also great options to consider for many seniors. If taking care of a loved one is too much and cannot viably be done, you can get them the care they need at home with the help of Fedelta. There are also several precautions that professional caregivers take to make you and the person you are caring for both safe and comfortable.