Flu Rages, Caregiving Suffers in Nursing Home

Flu Rages, Caregiving Suffers in Nursing HomeFlu Rages, Caregiving Suffers in Nursing Home

Flu season has reached epidemic levels, affecting nearly every state across the U.S., leaving nursing homes struggling to care for their residents.

Older patients are particularly vulnerable to the flu. In the week ending Jan. 5, the rate of flu-related hospitalizations for people 65 and older was 53.4 per 100,000, over twice than that of newborns and children, another vulnerable group, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The flu epidemic is hitting nursing homes hard. A nursing home in Elizabethtown, Pa., had to shut down two floors of the building and sequestered residents in their room, and stopped all social activities when seven residents took ill in a matter of days.

Flu season is taking a toll on caregivers as well. In helping elderly residents cope with outbreaks, the staff has been hit as well. Nurses, home health aides, and visiting family members are falling ill and are unable to care for the residents. According to the New York Times, one senior care center has 20 percent of their staff called in sick this year. In previous years, only about 5 percent of the staff had called in sick during flu season.

One key focus is making sure nursing homes are prepared. Health officials are urging nursing home employees to get vaccinated. If relatives are sick, many nursing home administrators are asking them to stay home and not visit until they are well.

At Dignicare, our goal was to develop an nursing home insurance programs and risk management program that supported the senior living industry’s efforts to provide quality, dignified care to their residents in a nurturing environment while at the same time having the support needed to mitigate risk, protect against loss, contain cost drivers and continue to grow profitably. Give us a call today (855) 883-6306.

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