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The Future of Nursing Homes

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future of nursing homes

In Connecticut, just two and a half weeks after delivering the first round of the COVID-19 vaccination to nursing home residents they saw over a 50% reduction in infectious cases. This is a major triumph and step that will move us towards ending the pandemic but it is not the solution for nursing homes.

The pandemic has brought to live a whole new perspective on nursing homes, one that is very negative. Families were shocked when they found out that the ban in seeing their loved ones had no real impact on stopping the spread of diseases.

This was due to a variety of factors. First, due to capacity strains many healthy residents were forced to share rooms with known COVID positive patients. Ineffective antibiotic “cocktails” and experiment non-consensual treatment were given to the patients to stop the disease and spread but to no avail. All of this combined with the fact that staff were linked to be the spreaders of the disease left over half of Americans feeling negatively about nursing after the pandemic.

Many of these decisions were made due to the lack of information that surrounds the COVID-19 virus, but an even bigger proportion was directly related to lack of funding. Over 65% of nursing are operating at a loss because of the pandemic. Another 25% are operating with a margin that is less than 3%.

This disparity in budget prevents these facilities from providing the standard of care that they promised to their residents and their families. Having to make health decisions based off the bottom line have cost these facilities a large proportion of their public perception.

Luckily, over 75% of Americans have reported changes to the way they think about their future in regards to long-term care. This means that more people are acknowledging that they might have to partake in this service in the future.

This is integral in providing the change to these facilities. The spread of infection is the number one concern, a concern that extends far beyond COVID. It is a known fact that nursing home residents are at an increased risk for several of the most common infections such as MRSA or UTIs.

Properly cleaning practices can help reduce their chances of contracting these infections by up to 85%. By instituting a rigorous and regular cleaning and disinfecting schedule nursing homes can greatly increase the cleanliness and consumer perspective of their facilities.

These protocols can be as simple as an hourly disinfecting of all surfaces with an antibacterial spray that combats surface infections. It can also include mandatory hand washing and disinfecting for staff upon entry and exit of the facility. Small changes like this can make a big difference when it comes to the health and safety of nursing home residents.

It is becoming extremely important to examine our perceptions of nursing home facilities and use them to enact change. With over 70% of the population needing to utilize one of these facilities, change must be started now. See more about the future of nursing homes in the infographic below:

Cleanliness: The Future of Nursing Homes

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency , based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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