Category

Nursing Homes

Free Webcast: Advocating Today and for the Future: Nursing Homes and Home and Community-Based Services in a COVID-19 World

By | Health Care, Home & Community Based Services, Medicaid, Nursing Homes, WEBINAR, Webinar Trainings

The COVID-19 pandemic presents difficulties and great risk for older Americans and people with disabilities who rely on hands-on assistance from others. Since early March, nursing home residents and others in congregate care settings have faced infection, injury, death, and relentless isolation. Home and community-based services (HCBS) programs have struggled to maintain services at necessary levels.

This Justice in Aging webcast, Advocating Today and for the Future: Nursing Homes and Home and Community-Based Services in a COVID-19 World, will look at both the present and the future. The session will bring attendees up to date on COVID-related policy changes for nursing homes and HCBS, including federal guidance for “reopening” nursing homes.

Also, the session will consider policy changes that the current crisis makes imperative. Shared-occupancy congregate care is a recipe for disaster in a COVID-19 world. The session will consider the immediate need for real change: both in remaking the nursing home model, and, more importantly, in making Medicaid HCBS available to all financially-eligible persons who need it.

Who should participate:
Aging and disability community advocates who want to learn more about advocating around nursing facility issues during COVID-19, and policy ideas for improving facilities and the long-term care system into the future.

Presenters:
Eric Carlson, Justice in Aging
Gelila Selassie, Justice in Aging

The webcast took place on Tuesday, June 30, 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET.

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Harrowing Blame Game Over COVID-19 in Nursing Homes

By | IN THE NEWS, Long Term Care, Medicaid, Newsroom, Nursing Homes

Associated Press: Harrowing Blame Game Over COVID-19 in Nursing Homes (June 15, 2020)

The Trump administration has been pointing to a segment of the industry — facilities with low federal ratings for infection control — and to some Democratic governors who required nursing homes to take recovering coronavirus patients. Advocates for older people say the federal government hasn’t provided needed virus testing and sufficient protective gear to allow nursing homes to operate safely. A White House directive to test all residents and staff has been met with an uneven response. “The lack of federal coordination certainly has impeded facilities’ ability to identify infected persons and to provide care,” Eric Carlson, a long-term care expert with the advocacy group Justice in Aging, told lawmakers.

Aging and Older Adults in the Time of COVID-19

By | Health Care Defense, Health Disparities, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Nursing Homes, SENIOR POVERTY

Peace and Social Justice Radio Show: Aging and Older Adults in the Time of COVID-19 (June 5, 2020)

Justice in Aging Senior Staff Attorney Claire Ramsey was a featured guest on the show. She spoke about COVID-19 and older adults in California, particularly the impact on older adults of color. She also talked about how devastating the proposed budget cuts to programs low-income older adults rely on to stay safe during a pandemic. Claire’s segment starts at the 1 hour mark.

A National Disgrace: 40,600 Deaths Tied to US Nursing Homes

By | IN THE NEWS, Long Term Care, Medicaid, Nursing Homes

USA Today: A National Disgrace: 40,600 Deaths Tied to US Nursing Homes (June 1, 2020)

Over the last three months, more than 40,600 long-term care residents and workers have died of COVID-19 – about 40% of the nation’s death toll attributed to the coronavirus, according to an analysis of state data gathered by USA TODAY. That number eclipses a count released Monday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal government’s first attempt at a comprehensive tally. CMS said 25,923 residents had died, but its number only includes federally regulated nursing homes, not assisted living facilities. And this, even as families are not allowed to visit loved ones. “Without an end in sight, home operators need to do more to connect residents with their loved ones outside,” said Eric Carlson, a directing attorney at Justice in Aging.

Nursing Homes Fought Federal Emergency Plan Requirements for Years. Now, They’re Coronavirus Hot Spots

By | IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Nursing Homes

Pro Publica: Nursing Homes Fought Federal Emergency Plan Requirements for Years. Now, They’re Coronavirus Hot Spots (May 29, 2020)

The long-term care industry resisted a federal mandate to plan for disasters including pandemics. About 43% of nursing homes have been caught violating the requirement, including facilities that have now had deadly COVID-19 outbreaks. The lack of pandemic plans helps explain why nursing homes have been caught unprepared for the new coronavirus, patient advocates and industry observers said. Since inspectors are tasked with identifying immediate hazards, they may be less focused on scrutinizing emergency plans, said Eric Carlson, directing attorney of Justice in Aging.

Some Nursing Homes Escaped COVID-19-Here’s What they Did Right

By | Health Care, Health Equity, Home & Community Based Services, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Medicare, Nursing Homes, Person-Centered Care Planning

Wired: Some Nursing Homes Escaped COVID-19-Here’s What they Did Right (May 29, 2020)

Cmiel’s staff stocked up on personal protective equipment and masks for workers and residents; screened everyone who walked in the door for symptoms; hired more staff to clean bathrooms and common areas; and started educating everyone on best practices for containing the virus. And while nursing homes account for nearly half of California’s coronavirus fatalities, at the SFCJL not a single resident has tested positive for the virus. Not all facilities were so lucky. A better approach to keep older people safe from Covid-19 would be to care for them in their homes, keeping them out of long-term residential settings. “There should be a continuum of care, and institutional care should really be reserved for people who need it, who can’t be successful and safe in their own homes,” said Claire Ramsey, Senior Staff Attorney at Justice in Aging.

As COVID-19 lurks, California families are locked out of nursing homes. Is it safe inside?

By | IN THE NEWS, Nursing Homes, Person-Centered Care Planning

East Bay Times: As COVID-19 lurks, California families are locked out of nursing homes. Is it safe inside? (May 10, 2020)

This article discusses the difficulties families face in knowing whether their loved ones residing in nursing homes are doing alright and receiving proper care during the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter in place orders, and offers advocacy tips for families. One of the tips is to ask for a care plan meeting. “Whenever there’s a change in someone’s condition, there’s a requirement that a care plan meeting be convened, and that remains in effect,” said Justice in Aging attorney, Eric Carlson, who was interviewed for the article.

As coronavirus killed, spot inspections at nursing homes uncovered alleged violations

By | IN THE NEWS, Nursing Homes

ABC News: As coronavirus killed, spot inspections at nursing homes uncovered alleged violations, (May 8, 2020)

This story talks about how the lack of proper infection controls is leading to a huge number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing facilities across the country and is based on a report of spot inspections conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Advocacy. Justice in Aging attorney, Eric Carlson said, “The general public knows hand hygiene is crucial in preventing infections – nursing home staff must know that as well.” And, “There’s no excuse at this point for nursing home staff members who don’t scrupulously use gloves and wash hands. The failure to carry out these simple tasks is a matter of life and death when COVID-19 is present.”

The Nursing Home Coronavirus Pandemic

By | IN THE NEWS, Long Term Care, Nursing Homes

Tarbell: The Nursing Home Coronavirus Pandemic, (April 28, 2020)

This article discusses how the political power of the nursing home industry has led the industry to prioritize profits over patient care and that has all led to what amounts to a “massacre” of older adults living in nursing facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. “In ordinary times, nursing homes have a bad infection control record, so the fact that they are having major problems with the coronavirus is sadly predictable,” said Justice in Aging Attorney, Eric Carlson.

Seniors are sick with coronavirus and need special care. But hospitals and nursing homes are in conflict about who takes on the less-critical patients

By | IN THE NEWS, Newsroom, Nursing Homes

South Florida Sun Sentinel: Seniors are Sick with Coronavirus and Need Special Care. but Hospitals and Nursing Homes are in Conflict about who Takes on the Less Critical of Patients (April 15, 2020)

With nearly 1,400 cases of COVID-19 now reported in long-term care facilities in Florida, hospitals are discharging some patients who have improved back into nursing homes. Hospitals officials say they need to clear out patients who no longer need acute care. But nursing homes don’t want to take the patients discharged from hospitals for fear they’ll bring the coronavirus with them and spread it.Justice in Aging attorney Eric Carlson is concerned. “If you are admitting someone who you know has the virus, that cuts against all the tremendous focus that has been placed on not allowing the virus inside the four walls of the nursing facility,” he said. “Infection prevention and adequate staffing in nursing homes have been sore points even in better days.”