Coronavirus has brought many challenges to the world. In particular, it has affected our elderly and most vulnerable populations. Especially those long-term care facilities and nursing homes. They have become a hotbed for Covid-19. The pandemic has spread through nursing homes like an uncontrolled wildfire indiscriminately targeting our precious elderly population.
The CDC guidelines required a lockdown of all long-term care facilities. This prevented loved ones from visiting and caring for residents. But the efforts to keep the coronavirus at bay have caused nursing home residents to experience extreme loneliness, confusion, depression, stress, and fear. Loved ones, too, are feeling the stress, and guilt of not being able to physically visit their vulnerable family members. Long-term care facilities are balancing the battle of the invisible devil knocking at the door and the obvious indirect consequences of extended isolation from loved ones, confusion, internal quarantines, grief, and the like.
Many creative nursing homes have developed ways for their residents to stay connected to the outside world and their loved ones. From facilitating video chats, window visits, pen-pals, plexiglass booths for drive-by visits, and more. Long-term facilities are attempting to address the negative indirect psychological impacts on their residents. Some facilities have even allowed access by loved ones in circumstances where residents are in hospice.
It appears we will be dealing with Covid-19 and its impacts for some time to come. Long-term care facilities are on the frontline of addressing the devastations of this pandemic. The direct and indirect effects on residents, their loved ones, and staff are real. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, the psychological impacts associated with the Covid19 lockdown may be crippling. Seeking support and counseling from others in a similar circumstance can provide comfort. Getting professional help may assist you in moving forward.