Coronavirus or COVID-19 had a devastating effect on the entire world, with millions getting affected and more dying as a result. Till now, it has been reported that there are around 2.90 million deaths with 130 million-plus cases till now.
Now, with a second wave of the virus making the rounds, it only seems like the case count will keep on increasing. However, there are some peculiar age trends in this death event.
Is Coronavirus Disproportionately Affecting A Particular Demographic?
When we peer closer, it seems like one age demographic is getting affected worse than the rest. For example, the US has reported that their 0-44 age group has a death percentage of about 4%. In comparison, the 65 to 75+ age bracket has a death rate exceeding 60%.
But these are not isolated numbers. We can see similar trends in the same demographic all over the world. So, we can derive a common conclusion from such statistics- the virus is disproportionately affecting the global elderly population.
It’s easy to determine that the high death rates among the older population is because they lack the immunity to fight against the virus. Also, other underlying diseases and comorbidities make survival even more of a struggle for the elderly population.
We should also note that in the global elderly population, the elderly folks in long-term care homes were affected adversely due to the virus. After all, percentages point to up to 70% of COVID-19 related deaths occurring in such facilities.
Why Is The COVID-19 Death Rate So High In Long-Term Care Homes?
When the pandemic hit, the entire world was caught off-guard. The virus exposed the fragile healthcare facilities of multiple first-world countries. However, its effects were felt the most by the elderly in long-term care facilities. This happened because these facilities were not prepared to safeguard the people in their care. The following reasons are the main culprits behind it.
Lack Of Guidelines
In the initial stages, there was a clear lack of guidelines to deal with a pandemic. Also, to make things worse, there were no official guidelines for taking care of the elderly who were already suffering from other diseases in these homes.
Transmission By Caregivers
One of the reasons for the spread of the virus in such care homes is the staff members not taking the necessary precautions. However, along with this, another reason has also played a huge role.
This was the fact that the COVID affected members continued working. As such, this spread the virus inside the care homes more aggressively.
Another reason behind the spread of the virus inside long-term care facilities is an under-qualified staff. Such staff members don’t have the training needed to provide the necessary care to the elderly. This proved to be deadly in a pandemic.
Lack Of Protective Equipment
The rapid spread of the virus inside care facilities can be attributed to the staff members not having the necessary protective equipment. To make the issue worse, the patients also don’t have the necessary protective equipment to lessen the virus’s effects.
Limited Testing Facilities
It was also found that such long-term care facilities lack the testing facilities which allow for fast testing. So, fewer testing facilities mean that it takes time to identify the patients affected by the virus. Also, the late testing means that it takes time for the treatment to begin as well.
Difficulty In Diagnosis
The increased cases of neurological pathologies like dementia among the long-term residents of those care facilities have led to difficulty in diagnosis.
How Can Stay At Home Assistance Help Elderly Patients?
Since the spread of the virus is so high in specifically long-term care facilities, so isolating the patient at home could be a permanent solution. However, elderly patients still need care daily. As such, Stay Home Assistance Waterloo services could be the solution to this problem.
After all, it will reduce the point-of-contact with the caregivers to just one person. As such, the chances of contracting the virus will decrease drastically as well. Not to mention that Personal Care At Home Waterloo services make it easy to provide the necessary equipment and implement the measures needed to protect the patient from further effects of the virus.
Which Measures Got Adopted To Slow Down The Spread Of The Virus In Such Facilities?
Every patient can’t receive care in their homes. So, several measures were implemented to protect such patients from the onslaught of the virus in long-term care homes. These are:
Authorities implemented a screening system so that patients could be monitored every day. Also, this screening system had a testing facility for the staff members who regularly cared for patients affected by the virus. Such staff members needed to be frequently tested (like every week) to see if they had contracted the virus or not
Tracking The Data
It’s necessary to understand the baseline effects of the virus on such homes if better care conditions and guidelines are to be implemented. This is why healthcare authorities urgently collected and sent facility-based data of both the staff and patients to the health authorities.
It’s necessary to ensure that proper protective equipment is getting used for reducing the spread of the virus. This includes masks, following hygiene guidelines, and isolating the affected individuals.
Of course, this is alongside testing the sick individuals and carrying out the needed medical procedures as per the recommendation of qualified individuals.
Special Care Units
One way to reduce the rampant death toll is to set up special wards on different floors or buildings for caring for COVID-19 patients. This along with the necessary screening and testing methods will help slow down the transmission.
Coronavirus swept through long-term care homes in its initial stages. However, healthcare authorities took the needed measures to curb the spread of the virus in such facilities. But, a more permanent solution will probably be to opt for elderly stay-home assistance facilities. After all, using such services reduces the point of contact to just one person. Not to mention that this will make it easier to implement preventive and isolation methods.