Homes

COVID-Plagued California Nursing Homes Often Had Problems In Past

When Jorge Newbery finally got through to his 95-year-old mother, Jennifer, on a video call April 18, she could barely talk or move and her eyes couldn’t focus.

It was the first time he had seen her since California nursing homes shut their doors to visitors a month earlier. Immediately after the video chat, Newbery called the front desk in a panic.

“I said, ‘You gotta get her out, you gotta call 911,’” he recalled. “She’s looking like she’s about to die.”

Newbery’s mother was living at the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica, one of 198 nursing homes in California where at least one patient had contracted the coronavirus as of April 28, public health records show. The outbreak at the Rehabilitation Center has been worse than most, with 12 employees and 24 patients infected, including nine fatalities, according to the Los Angeles County health department.

The Rehabilitation Center shares

Read More

‘Staying Away From Grandma’ Isn’t An Option In Multigenerational Homes

FLORISSANT, Missouri — The Walker family never thought having an age range of 3 to 96 under the same roof would be risky.

That was before the coronavirus pandemic.

Wilma Walker’s now nonagenarian mom moved into her daughter and son-in-law’s home about 15 years ago. Their party of three turned into a household of six when the Walkers’ now 30-year-old daughter, Andre’a Walker-Nimrod, moved back in with her young son and a daughter on the way.

Their living arrangement — four generations together under one roof — has its advantages: financial support, shared meals and built-in child care for Andre’a’s kids, now 5 and 3. But this “tier” generational setup also heightens their concerns as the coronavirus continues to march across the world, with young people positioned as potentially inadvertent carriers of the virus to vulnerable elders for whom COVID-19 could be a death sentence.

“With all of us in

Read More

Nursing Homes Have Thousands Of Ventilators That Hospitals Desperately Need

As the number of COVID-19 patients climbs and health officials hunt for ventilators to treat them, nursing homes across the United States have a cache ― about 8,200 of the lifesaving machines, according to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Most of the machines are in use, often by people who’ve suffered a brain injury or stroke. Some of those residents are in a vegetative state and have remained on a ventilator for years.

State officials are working to consolidate ventilators where they are most urgently needed. But so far, the supply in nursing homes has not drawn the same attention.

Or course, commandeering those units would set up a monumental ethical dilemma: Do you remove life support for a long-term nursing care patient in order to give a COVID-19 patient a better chance of survival?

The highest number of machines, about 2,300, is in California, where

Read More