Hospital systems around the US are changing the way they provide care for older patients during COVID-19. LIFE Geisinger, a care facility designed for older adults that gives them support they need to be able to live at home longer, is one such system.

 

LIFE Geisinger is part of the Geisinger Health Care System in Pennsylvania and normally provides services both at its day centers and in patients’ homes. However, nurses are now providing as many services as possible at the home of their patients rather than at their centers, including physical therapy, medication administration, and even food delivery. More complicated or serious treatments, such as IV treatments and dialysis, are still performed at the hospital system.

The Wall Street Journal recently published this informative article on the demand for in-home care during the coronovirus. If you are a subscriber, you can read the article here. We've also included the entire article in this post. 

 

As older adults shelter in place, an already-stretched caregiver network faces new strains; 'The most vulnerable to Covid are going to be staying home longer than the rest of us'

 

Healthcare workers in Western North Carolina and across the nation are working tirelessly to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, many at the risk of their own health. Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves are desperately needed, and many companies and individuals have stepped up to meet the demand by making and donating equipment.

 

Angie Ballard, Director at Mountain Home Care, has done her part in providing PPE for not only our MHC caregivers, but for our community and beyond! Early on in the outbreak, Angie realized that MHC was going to face the challenge of not having enough PPE. That’s when she decided to buy a sewing machine and begin sewing masks. “I’m not a seamstress, but I found a pattern and started to sew,” says Angie. “It was a bit involved at first, but fortunately after a few attempts I began to figure out what worked best for me. And my skills are slowly improving!” 

 

Medication helps seniors live longer and enjoy a better quality of life, but proper management of their medication is crucial. It’s probably no surprise to learn that people over the age of 65 use more prescription and over the counter (OTC) medication than younger age groups. People ages 65 and older make up 12 percent of the US population, but comprise about 36 percent of prescription medication and 38 percent of OTC use. Many seniors are also taking more herbal and dietary supplements than they have in the past — rising from 14 percent in 1998 to 63 percent in 2019.

As we age, it’s important to pay attention to the types of meals we’re eating. Aging is linked to muscle loss, thinner skin, and less stomach acid, and seniors may also experience a loss of hunger and thirst cues — many of these can lead to nutrition deficiencies and dehydration.