For nursing homes and other senior living facilities, the COVID-19 disease has become an absolute nightmare. According to the CDC over 400 of the 15,000 nursing facilities in the U.S. have had an outbreak of the coronavirus as of March 30. These numbers account for residents and staff. The statistics also include the recently occurring numbers within facilities in the community of West Georgia.
The city of Carrollton is home to almost 20 nursing homes and senior living facilities combined. The close knit area of Carroll County as a whole is home to far more. Elderly residents of facilities that offer long-term care like such have been declared as being the most vulnerable to serious illness or death from this disease. This is especially true due to the fact that many unrelated residents often share rooms, encouraging the unintentional spread of it.
This goes hand in hand with the larger numbers of congregational gatherings necessary by residents and staff in day or dining rooms. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has since issued new guidance for nursing facilities responding to coronavirus, suggesting ideas such as separate units for each group.
To try and contain the spread, many facilities have been closed to visitors for weeks and will be for potentially months to come. These visitors include family, friends, and volunteers. For some of these residents visits were all they had to look forward to.
Jacob Carroll has been a CNA at Carrollton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for the past two years. So far this center has remained virus free by following procedures.
“We have been really proactive and we have good infection control procedures, so we have been able to stay safe from the virus so far,” Carroll said. “We’re not letting outside visitors in and we’re keeping most of the patients quarantined from other patients that are being tested or patients that are new.”
Candy Warren has been with the staff of Carrollton Manor Nursing Home for almost 9 years and has been actively working through the difficult situation. The Manor currently has close to 20 cases of COVID-19
“It’s hard on the residents and their families not being able to see them,” Warren said. “I think they’re doing all they can to keep the virus from spreading.”
It is fair to say that all living facilities and nursing homes are facing one of the biggest challenges yet within the history of pandemics. Staff, residents, and families are simply doing all they can to get through this time. That is why it is imperative that all civilians contribute to the greater good of humanity by following safety and sanitary precautions at all times.