In America’s nursing homes, outbreaks grow.
NY Times report – March 25
Across the country, a pattern has played out with tragic consistency: Someone gets sick in a nursing home. Soon, several residents and employees have the coronavirus.
Older people and those with underlying health problems are most vulnerable to Covid-19, making the consequences of a nursing home outbreak especially devastating. At least 35 deaths have been linked to an outbreak at the Life Care nursing facility in Kirkland, Wash. Many of the victims were in their 80s or 90s.
In New Orleans and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., multiple deaths have been tied to senior centers. In Wisconsin, the National Guard was sent to help after a man died in a memory care unit and others were infected. Similar outbreaks have been reported in Ohio, in Colorado and in Bellingham, Wash., where 26 residents and six staff members at a nursing and rehabilitation center had been infected by Sunday.
Note: Family and visitors are not allowed to visit at this time, causing further stress and worry for families.
This should tell us all we need to know about the danger for older persons in New York State. Age breakdown of New York State 114 coronavirus deaths.
98 are 60+,
51 are 80+
90+: 15 people
80-89: 36 people
70-79: 29 people
60-69: 18 people
50-59: 11 people
40-49: 5 people
Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo gave some good news Monday morning about those stepping up in this crisis. His office put out the call for retired health professionals to volunteer to help active employees who are pushed to the limit So far, over 30,000 have signed up to help on the state Department of Health’s website. It’s a remarkable testament to the power of retirees to help communities, especially at critical times like this.
It is not just for-profit businesses that are losing money and customers. Senior services organizations face the possibility of a loss of funds because they have contracts requiring them to provide direct services to older persons. However, they can’t do that at this time since many services have been suspended especially to provide transportation, non-medical chore services or adult day care or socialization at senior centers. Many senior providers are continuing to provide services by phone with re-assurance calls or home delivered meals but there is going to have to be consideration of adjusting contracts or the very nonprofits needed to help older people will be in facing major financial shortfalls.
Click on the link Michael Burgess, former Director, NY State Office for the Aging interviewed by Cynthia Pooler of Focus on Albany for internet and local radio station
Older persons are most at risk of serious illness from the coronavirus. The first death in New York State is an 82 year old woman with emphysema. Though most will not get the virus, our way of life including senior services programs are being disrupted. Congregate meal programs at local sites are closing with meals offered at home if needed. We are fortunate that so many older persons are volunteers in senior services programs but many are now calling in to say they are not going to volunteer in the short term during this crisis. Visitation at hospitals, nursing homes and other senior facilities is being sharply curtailed. So, it’s up to all of us to help older friends, neighbors and relatives through watching out for them, re-assurance phone calls, picking up medicine and groceries for them if needed and more.
The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation which was formed from the assets of the non- profit, Catholic-related Fidelis Insurance company when it was sold and privatized has announced the first round of its health care grants totaling about $150 million funding about 500 projects statewide. $18 million was given to projects directly supporting aging projects.
Among the many interesting grants for aging services in the community are:
$340,000 to Mercy Care for the Adirondacks for its Age Friendly Communities Initiative,
$75,321 to Lifespan in Rochester for its Finger Lakes Healthcare Elder Justice Specialist Project;
$1 million to the Jewish Association of Services in New York City for its Caring Link program to help seniors with referrals and support to avoid isolation
$373,076 to Catholic Charities of the Albany Diocese for its Aging Life Care Services Project.
$1,750,000 ArchCare PACE programs
$79,623 to Interfaith Works of Central New York for its Senior Services One to One Program
$117,396 to the Medicare Rights Center for its benefits enrollment for low income persons
$175,000 to St. Peters Hospital Foundation, Albany for Improving the Pathway to Healing: Connecting Older, Vulnerable Individuals to Spiritual ResourcesLike