We must continue to demand universal testing. Testing gives us data that lets us know where the need is greatest so policies can be tailored to meet the specific needs of those most at risk.
We know that nursing homes and long-term care facilities are a virus hotbed. Almost half of the deaths of elderly people in this country have been at nursing care facilities. I am the director of a legal non-profit, the SeniorLAW Center in Pennsylvania, which seeks justice for older people. As we learn more about what is taking place in these facilities, the stories of neglect will be this nation’s shame.
Not only is testing needed but protocols must be put in place for communications and outreach for families who play a crucial role in the psychological well-being of long-term care and nursing facility residents. Before coronavirus, a 2018 AARP foundation survey revealed that one-third of older adults in the United States are socially isolated, which increases health risks like heart disease and diabetes.
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