MLive quotes Jaque King and Robyn Rontal on how the pandemic is galvanizing shifts in how we care for the elderly

April 14, 2021 | MLive

An elderly woman during the Covid 19 PandemicMLive’s Julie Mack quotes Jaque King, lead healthcare analyst at the Center for Health and Research Transformation (CHRT), and Robyn Rontal, CHRT’s policy analytics director, in “COVID-19 pandemic hit seniors hard. Could it lead to a rethinking of how we care for the elderly?” The article describes how the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light many chronic problems in the way our health care system cares for the elderly.

King discusses research CHRT conducted on how nursing homes responded to the pandemic. “There’s really a clear need to care for and support staff,” she said. “During our study, we heard a lot of issues around being undervalued and underpaid, and about the need for training and education going forward.” In addition, “staffing levels are really important to keeping nursing home residents safe,” said King. “Those are the kinds of challenges the pandemic really highlighted and brought to light.”

Rontal notes that the pandemic is galvanizing a shift to home-based care. For years, Rontal says, there has been a movement “to find ways to shift care to the home with supportive services. There are a lot of good examples [of innovative] programs and polices that are starting to test that approach,” she says. “But I think the pandemic shone a spotlight on the need for better services in the home.”