CHRT speaks with Huffington Post about improving senior housing options as COVID-19 ravages nursing homes

May 1, 2020 | Huffington Post, In The Media

Image of a senior in a nursing home

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on nursing home residents’ vulnerability has highlighted the need for a conversation about improving and enhancing senior housing facilities. This is crucial since a sizable portion of COVID-19 deaths are occurring in nursing homes in some areas.

In “As COVID-19 ravages nursing homes, a new push for better senior housing,” medical writer Patricia Anstett looks at why nursing home residents, who in some states account for more than 50 percent of all COVID-19 deaths, are so vulnerable. These alarming statistics, writes Anstett, “have intensified an important discussion the nation will wrestle with for years to come: How can the United States expand community-based alternatives for seniors and improve care in larger facilities?”

Steve McAlilly, the chief executive officer of Methodist Senior Services, said, “a pandemic magnifies and highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the entire system, I hope we wake up and understand we need to have a policy conversation in Washington about the fact that long-term care needs to be adequately funded to keep this from happening again. Hopefully we will seize this as the moment that caused us to have that conversation, because until now long-term care has gotten the crumbs on the healthcare plate.”

CHRT’s Marianne Udow-Phillips, just one of the many experts Anstett cites in the piece, says governments, foundations, insurance plans, philanthropic organizations, and advocacy groups have to come up with more creative solutions for elder care. Among the solutions Anstett features in the Huffington Post story is the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation’s Vital Seniors Initiative, which CHRT supports. 


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