Founder @ NowSourcing. Contributor @ Hackernoon, Advisor @GoogleSmallBiz, Podcaster, infographics
In the US, nursing home residents and staff have accounted for over a third of coronavirus deaths.
The collection of elder Americans in a system suffering many failures in long term care led to hundreds of thousands of deaths. There were facilities where healthy residents shared rooms with those who’d tested positive, nursing home workers refused the coronavirus vaccine, and experimental treatments were administered without family members’ knowledge. Half of Americans feel more negatively towards nursing homes than they did pre-pandemic.
As deaths abound and incoming residents decline, nursing homes are falling in occupancy as costs rise. 65% of nursing homes are operating at a loss while 25% have a margin of under 3%. What will these figures mean for the future?
While 90% of people want to avoid nursing homes, 70% of seniors will need long term care at some point in their lives. Looking ahead, 3 in 4 adults have changed how they think about the future. Many are now more willing to save up for high quality care. The best thing nursing homes can do going forward is improve their reputation. A good reputation starts with cleanliness. Cleanliness of a facility is the #3 most mentioned topic in Yelp reviews, coming after staff attitude and responsiveness.
Even once the coronavirus pandemic is over, cleanliness will still be an important factor. Nursing home residents are 3,000% more likely to develop lower respiratory tract infections and 2,000% more likely to experience sepsis, which is 7x more likely to be severe for them. Improved surface cleaning and regular disinfection may reduce a facility’s healthcare-associated infections by as much as 85%.
Getting a clean facility takes several steps:
However Americans currently feel about nursing homes, their necessity will not disappear when coronavirus does. When the dust clears, the nursing homes that remain need to fix the issues that coronavirus exposed to the nation.
Previously published here.
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