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Caring for the Ages
August 1, 2020

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time and the greatest public health challenge we have faced since World War II. Since its emergence in Asia late last year, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread to every continent except Antarctica. Cases are rising daily in Africa, the Americas, and Europe (United Nations Development Programme, “COVID-19 Pandemic,” 2020, https://bit.ly/31fHqvf).

Caring for the Ages
August 1, 2020

Has the advent of COVID-19 changed your life in a significant way? Has it caused a cancellation of that trip to Europe, torpedoed a lifetime dream cruise to the Far East, trashed your budget, doubled or tripled the medical director hours at your struggling facilities, or caused the death or illness of those special facility staff members or residents that you just love to see on rounds? If you answer “No” to such questions, I can only assume you are piloting an Orbiter expedition to Mars, because I know you do not live here on Earth.

Caring for the Ages
August 1, 2020

More than six months after the SARS-CoV-2 virus began its spread through the United States, nursing home leaders and staff feel battered.

Caring for the Ages
August 1, 2020

There’s mixed news for the diagnosis and management of epilepsy in nursing homes, where the prevalence of the disorder is estimated to be more than seven times higher than among seniors in the community.

Caring for the Ages
August 1, 2020

During the session “Expert Consensus on the Use of Telemedicine in the Roles, Tasks, and Functions of the PALTC Medical Director” at the Annual Conference of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, Suzanne Gillespie, MD, RD, CMD, noted that the concept of virtual medicine is hardly new. Back in the 1970s, “TV physician Marcus Welby used the phone to render general care,” she pointed out. Even more telling was the scene in the 1960s cartoon The Jetsons, where Elroy tries to stay home sick from school — only to have his mother arrange a telemedicine visit.

Caring for the Ages
August 1, 2020

They came on the screen — one, then two, then three, then more. At first, they exchanged pleasantries and talked about work and upcoming events. Then Timothy Holahan, DO, CMD, introduced Ghinwa Dumyati, MD, who provided an update on Monroe County, NY, COVID-19 in post-acute and long-term care, including numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Caring for the Ages
August 1, 2020

“Surrounded by family” is a phrase often used to depict the concept of a “good” death. To die among loved ones is something we desire for ourselves and practitioners want for their patients. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything. “It’s hard enough to wrap your brain around death, but this is even more difficult when people have to die alone — without loved ones or even caregivers or other team members at their bedside. That, as much as anything, is making this pandemic about traumatic grief and loss,” said Carla Cheatham, MA, MDiv, PhD, TRT, author of Hospice Whispers: Stories of...

Caring for the Ages
August 1, 2020

Arif Hussain, DO, talks about the risk of falling after a period of isolation and how to stay safe and strong post-COVID.

Caring for the Ages
August 1, 2020

Health care staff are being applauded as heroes. Signs with “Heroes Work Here” have appeared across the country in front of nursing homes and hospitals. In urban areas, people share their gratitude for health care heroes by banging on pots and pans and clapping as the workers head off to work. Everyone likes a hero story — someone who prevails against the odds and makes the world a better place. We feel uplifted and inspired, at a time when we need it most.

Caring for the Ages
August 1, 2020

The COVID 19 pandemic has laid bare the evidence of long-standing racial inequities in health care in the United States. National statistics available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, “COVID 19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups,” June 25, 2020, https://bit.ly/31r5lI6) and data collected at the state level (COVID Racial Data Tracker, https://covidtracking.com/race) consistently demonstrate that individuals of color are at greater risk of contracting, being hospitalized for, and...