Last Updated on November 24, 2022 by ashley.davis
The coronavirus pandemic has affected almost 100 million people in the United States and over one million lives have been lost. Its most prominent effect has been on social interactions. To protect yourself and your loved ones, you need to stay away or be separated from each other. And it is even more crucial to ensure coronavirus care at nursing homes for seniors.
Concepts such as social distancing are on the rise. If one is to protect themselves from the virus, one must follow these new norms and rules. Public spaces are one of the most affected places.
Areas such as senior homes, orphanages, and hostels with a large human presence are at risk. To protect nursing homes, relevant action must be taken immediately.
Why Is It Important to Ensure Coronavirus Care at Nursing Homes for Seniors?
Everyone is prone to this virus. It doesn’t matter what age group you are in; the virus can infect you. As a result, it is integral that relevant measures are taken to ensure that everyone stays safe. But senior citizens of every country are the most vulnerable. So, you must make sure that you take care of your seniors.
The reason why seniors should be the most protected is that they have a weaker immune system. To recover faster, those suffering from the virus must have a strong immune system. Unfortunately, as you age, your body starts to slow down.
That is why older adults are more prone to feeling the more fatal effects of COVID-19 than any other group. The virus affects the lungs, and many seniors cannot recover from the shortness of breath.
How to Ensure Coronavirus Care at Nursing Homes
The pandemic has shown the vulnerability of nursing home settings. If you are part of such a resident and want to help seniors during the coronavirus scare, then extra care must be taken on all accounts. It is essential to make sure that you take all possible forms of measures to keep your residents safe and sound.
It is vital to make sure that a proper health setting is established. There should be a reinforcement of strict rules, and major changes must be carried out under all accounts. Nursery housing which are the breeding grounds of COVID-19, must take the following steps:
1. Limit Visitors
Nursing homes should go on a proper lockdown. Visiting hours should be minimized, if not abolished completely. There should be a limit to the number of visitors who can visit in a day. Also, there should be only a specific time frame set during the week. Visitation hours should be cut down to maybe once a week.
Visitors and residents should be at a distance and follow safety precautions when visiting. Only one person should visit the resident. All visitors must be wearing a face mask at all times.
2. Shut down common spaces
The lesser common spaces are there, the lesser interaction there is. Residents should try to stay in their rooms. Less common spaces also mean that there would be fewer visits by outsiders too.
Shared spaces, such as the dining hall, should have a lower capacity for holding people. Few people should enter a specific space for a short period. For example, only a limited number of people observing appropriate safety measures should dine at the dining table.
3. Social distancing
There should be a proper distance between each resident and the staff at all times. When interacting with one another, everyone should wear a face mask at all times. They should be at a 2.5-meter distance too.
It is essential to see how each resident interacts with surfaces. Residents should sanitize and wash their hands now and then. Areas and surfaces which are considered to be ”high-touch zones” must be cleaned regularly. They should be kept sanitized at all times. This is especially at hours when there are more people than usual.
5. Cleaning should be prioritized
The halls of the nursing home should be cleaned on a daily basis. Each surface and area should be disinfected and sanitized regularly. All cleaning staff should wear a mask at all times too.
There should be a thorough cleaning of common areas after visitation hours. It is recommended to install sanitizer sprinklers. This way, they can spray every now and then, in intervals. This way, all germs are dealt with, and the environment can be much much cleaner.
There should be a segregated room for those infected with COVID-19. In case a resident gets infected, isolation must be imposed immediately. The section for COVID-positive residents ought to be separate from the other patients. The nursing staff needs to ensure that they’re not allowing them to enter the premises.
CDC Guidelines to Ensure Corona Care
Seniors are at higher risk of being affected by respiratory and other pathogens. A strong infection prevention and control (IPC) program is critical for nursing homes. This will protect both residents and healthcare personnel (HCP). Following these CDC guidelines can be used to prevent corona at nursing homes.
1. Provide training
Provide training to one or more individuals for infection control on-site management. This position should be a full-time role. The CDC has organized an online training course which should be taken. The individual should be given proper training on what to do during COVID-19 and the essential steps to follow.
2. Provide Supplies
Provide all necessary supplies which prevent the virus from spreading. These include sanitizers, alcohol-based soaps and sanitizers, and other cleaning appliances. Residents should have access to sanitizers with 60% alcohol at all accounts. There should be a sanitizer present ideally in each room. Along with hand hygiene, personal protective equipment must also be present. Facilities should have supplies of face masks. N95 or higher-level respirators, gowns, gloves, and eye protection are suitable protective gears.
3. Regular cleaning
A schedule for regular cleaning is quite helpful in this situation. This schedule should include cleaning and disinfection of shared equipment, frequently touched surfaces. Nursing homes should ensure that only EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectants are available.
4. Covid education
Residents should be educated about COVID-19. They should be educated about the current precautions. Tell them about what has been done by the facility to protect them. The CDC’s “Interim infection control recommendation” should be reviewed regularly. The staff and residents should know about changes to ensure everyone is on board. The nursing staff should be trained with consultancy and therapy as well.
5. Focus on mental health
Mental health services should be available at all nursery homes. The residents should be monitored for stress, anxiety, and other mental problems. You need to communicate with the residents daily to ensure that they feel healthy and safe at all times.
6. Immediate response
If there is an outbreak, then the authorities must be notified immediately. Testing equipment must be present, and a separate room must be prepared. The patient must be kept isolated under all accounts. Have a plan and mechanism to communicate with residents, families, and HCP regularly.
Notify the residents’ families and all other residents about outbreaks. Help should be given to the patient immediately. If the patient is seen to have serious signs, they must be sent to the hospital immediately. Parents should be promptly notified about the outbreak. Suspected residents should be kept isolated. Residents who have been in contact with the patient should be notified immediately.
7. Covid vaccination
All residents should be vaccinated immediately. They should be vaccinated as soon as possible. Receiving the COVID-19 vaccination is important, so everyone must get it done. Visitors should also be expected to provide a vaccination card to visit. Only those visitors who have been vaccinated should be asked to visit. The staff should be vaccinated too.
Source control should be implemented. It refers to the use of well-fitting cloth masks, facemasks, or respirators to cover a person’s mouth and nose. As you know, this is done to prevent the spread of respiratory secretions when they are breathing, talking, sneezing, or coughing. Also, these devices offer protection against exposure to infectious droplets and particles. Fit-tested respirators are most protective for the wearer. Ensuring a proper fit is important to optimize both the protection offered and source control. Residents should be provided with a well-fitted mask at all times. They must be kept protected, and all facilities must be present throughout.
Importance of COVID-19 Restrictions
COVID-19 restrictions are very important. They tend to limit the spread of the virus and its mutants. The best way to stop the spread is to abide by all the restrictions which have been placed.
Protection from affected people
Asymptomatic individuals, or who have mild symptoms can still spread the disease. This explains why social distancing – limiting contact with others – is necessary. This is also besides other actions such as washing your hands and not touching your face, which is super critical.
Every single person must adhere to this, whether they think they are sick. For people who have been in contact with someone showing symptoms, most doctors advise total self-isolation. This is for a week or two to limit further transmission of the virus.
Curbing the virus spread
Isolation and restrictions make sure that germs are cleansed from the air. The COVID-19 regulations are the strongest weapon we all have in our fight against COVID-19. They have the power to curb the virus, if not destroy it completely. The fewer people engage in public or crowded spaces, the less they can get impacted.
Preventing new mutations
The restrictions protect new mutants from emerging as well. Viruses tend to mutate, especially when infected with different bodies. Each human has its own form of the immune system. When the virus inflicts an individual, they impact the person based on their own health.
This often leads to the creation of different mutations. Each mutation is a result of a different immune system or body structure. The worse your health is, the worse the mutant is created. That is why it is best to follow all the necessary steps to prevent the spread of the virus.
Importance of COVID Vaccine for Seniors
Vaccinations are the biggest warriors against COVID-19. There is no proper treatment of COVID-19, but vaccines are the only form of care there is. Vaccination can help the patient from COVID-19. It does not end the virus but lowers down all the risks associated with it. It improves the chances of a person dying from COVID-19.
While there are still many unknowns about the virus, one thing that is clear is that the elderly are among the most vulnerable population when it comes to Covid-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people aged 65 and older showed a 94% reduced risk of COVID-19 related hospitalization after getting two shots of COVID vaccines. This is why it is so important for elderly people to get vaccinated against the disease.
The vaccine will not only help protect the elderly from Covid-19 but will also help to prevent them from spreading the virus to others. Moreover, the vaccine has been shown to be safe for people of all ages, including the elderly. The most common side effects are minor and include pain in the injection area, fatigue, and headache.
Indeed, you can still get infected after Covid vaccination. But the more of the population is vaccinated, the chances are further reduced thanks to herd immunity.
4 things to remember:
- Be clean and sanitize
- Keep your distance
- Get vaccinated
- Isolate when necessary
Find More Resources about Nursing Homes from BoomersHub
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- What Is a Nursing Home Administrator?
- Can a Person Sign Themselves Out of a Nursing Home?
The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the scariest pandemics in recent times. It has changed the way everyday life is carried out. Its impact and influence have stretched all areas of human life. The COVID-19 has made communal and nursery homes very vulnerable.
Its residents tend to suffer a great deal due to isolation and constant loneliness. To fight the virus, all possible measures are taken to prevent things from getting worse. Every individual is playing a part in limiting its spread. To make sure we recover from this, everyone must act together.
How many coronavirus deaths happened in nursing homes?
So far, the exact number of coronavirus deaths that have occurred in nursing homes is still unknown. However, an estimated 155,840 residents died from COVID-19 in nursing home facilities. While the number of staff deaths is 2,629 according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
What percentage of corona deaths are in nursing homes?
There is no definitive answer to this question as the cause of death for many residents in nursing homes has not been publicly disclosed. However, it is estimated that about 5.8% of nursing home residents died from Covid-19.