Vox: Nursing home deaths in Texas rose 64 percent in the past 2 weeks

Vox: Nursing home deaths in Texas rose 64 percent in the past 2 weeks. “When coronavirus cases began to spike again, experts outlined the worst-case scenario: that those spikes, initially concentrated among younger people who were more cavalier once businesses reopened, would eventually migrate to older people — particularly long-term care facilities, where so many seniors have already died from Covid-19. And now, according to a new data analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation, it seems those fears are being realized. The question is how bad it will get.”

San Francisco Chronicle: How SF’s Laguna Honda averted coronavirus disaster

San Francisco Chronicle: How SF’s Laguna Honda averted coronavirus disaster. “Nursing home advocates say that with the right response and safety protocols, nursing homes can protect residents and workers from the coronavirus — Laguna Honda proves that. With help from the state and federal governments, San Francisco city leaders were able to create a response around the virus that prevented tragedy: creating COVID wards to keep people separate, training in proper infection controls for workers and enlisting a contact-tracing team to track how far the virus may have spread from person to person. Laguna Honda achieved what it did despite the fact that for several months, it couldn’t meet federal testing recommendations due to nationwide shortages.”

Vox: Trump reduced fines for nursing homes that put residents at risk. Then Covid-19 happened.

Vox: Trump reduced fines for nursing homes that put residents at risk. Then Covid-19 happened.. “Estimates vary, but analysts Gregg Girvan and Avik Roy found that as of June 29, 50,779 of the 113,135 US deaths from Covid-19 (or 45 percent) were deaths of residents of nursing or long-term care facilities. Their numbers suggest that about 2.5 percent of all nursing home residents have been killed by the disease; in New Jersey, which is particularly hard hit, the share is over 11 percent.”

Penn Arts & Sciences: New Database Aims to Make Alzheimer’s Diagnosis Easier and Earlier

Penn Arts & Sciences: New Database Aims to Make Alzheimer’s Diagnosis Easier and Earlier. “Do you get nervous when you can’t think of a word? Chances are it’s a momentary lapse, but problems with language are one of the symptoms that can indicate a neurodegenerative disorder like Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, diagnosing these conditions requires scoring below a rather low threshold on a test battery administered by a specialist. This often means, says Mark Liberman, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Linguistics, that people have already been suffering from the disease for a decade or more when they’re diagnosed. Liberman, the director of the Linguistic Data Consortium, is working with researchers at Penn Medicine to build a database that will allow neural health to be tracked across time, so that doctors can make an earlier diagnosis and researchers can evaluate medications and other treatments.”

Tribune-Star: Feds fail to keep track of nursing home deaths

Tribune-Star: Feds fail to keep track of nursing home deaths. “Federal health officials report a disproportionate number of coronavirus deaths occur in the nation’s nursing homes, but the agency tracking their morbidity rates maintains a database riddled with incomplete information and errors. Since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began releasing data on the pandemic in early June, skilled nursing facility representatives across the country have complained the agency’s report shows incorrect case tallies and misreported deaths.”

The ‘Covid Cocktail’: Inside a Pa. nursing home that gave some veterans hydroxychloroquine even without covid-19 testing (Washington Post)

Washington Post: The ‘Covid Cocktail’: Inside a Pa. nursing home that gave some veterans hydroxychloroquine even without covid-19 testing. “For more than two weeks in April, a drug regimen that included hydroxychloroquine was routinely dispensed at the struggling center, often for patients who had not been tested for covid-19 and for those who suffered from medical conditions known to raise the risk of dangerous side effects, interviews, emails and medical notes and records obtained by The Washington Post show. Though precise estimates vary, the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs said about 30 residents received the drug. Several nursing home staff members placed the number higher. The Chester County coroner, who reviewed the medical records for some of those who died, said at least 11 residents who had received the hydroxychloroquine treatment had not been tested for covid-19.”

Washington Post: Overwhelmed nursing homes kept taking new patients. Some got sick and died.

Washington Post: Overwhelmed nursing homes kept taking new patients. Some got sick and died.. “Governments in New York and other states have been lambasted for forcing nursing homes to accept covid-19 patients to free up hospital beds, but less attention has been paid to the implications of nursing homes choosing to accept non-covid-19 patients into their ranks. For these facilities, closing the door to new residents means shutting off a precious source of revenue and turning away people in desperate need of care. But continuing admissions risks exposing new and existing residents to the coronavirus, especially if the facility is unable to properly isolate patients or lacks staff and protective gear.”

MIT Technology Review: If you’re over 75, catching covid-19 can be like playing Russian roulette

MIT Technology Review: If you’re over 75, catching covid-19 can be like playing Russian roulette. “I was reminded of the risk last week by this report from the New York City health department and Columbia University which estimated that on average, between March and May, the chance of dying if you get infected by SARS-CoV-2 was 1.45%. That’s higher than your lifetime chance of getting killed in a car wreck. That’s every driver cutting you off, every corner taken too fast, every time you nearly dozed off on the highway, all crammed into one. That’s not a disease I want to get. For someone my mother’s age, the chance of death came to 13.83% but ranged as high as 17%. That’s roughly 1 in 6, or the chance you’ll lose at Russian roulette. That’s not a game I want my mother to play.”

New York Times: 43% of U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Are Linked to Nursing Homes

New York Times: 43% of U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Are Linked to Nursing Homes. “At least 54,000 residents and workers have died from the coronavirus at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities for older adults in the United States, according to a New York Times database. As of June 26, the virus has infected more than 282,000 people at some 12,000 facilities.”

Buffalo News: NYS lawmakers still want hearings on Covid-19 nursing home deaths

Buffalo News: NYS lawmakers still want hearings on Covid-19 nursing home deaths. ” New York lawmakers have held hearings on the disproportionate health effects by the Covid-19 pandemic on minority communities. They have held hearings on the pandemic’s impact on small businesses across the state. Still not called yet, however, is a public airing of why so many people – more than 6,000 – died from Covid-19 or Covid-suspected illnesses in state-regulated nursing homes.”

‘They Just Dumped Him Like Trash’: Nursing Homes Evict Vulnerable Residents (New York Times)

New York Times: ‘They Just Dumped Him Like Trash’: Nursing Homes Evict Vulnerable Residents. “More than any other institution in America, nursing homes have come to symbolize the deadly destruction of the coronavirus crisis. More than 51,000 residents and employees of nursing homes and long-term care facilities have died, representing more than 40 percent of the total death toll in the United States. But even as they have been ravaged, nursing homes have also been enlisted in the response to the outbreak. They are taking on coronavirus-stricken patients to ease the burden on overwhelmed hospitals — and, at times, to bolster their bottom lines.”

Baltimore Sun: How a West Baltimore nursing home has zero COVID-19 infections | COMMENTARY

Baltimore Sun: How a West Baltimore nursing home has zero COVID-19 infections | COMMENTARY. “Here’s a key question for the Rev. Derrick DeWitt, director of the Maryland Baptist Aged Home in West Baltimore, a 100-year-old nursing facility that has had no coronavirus infections: What was the moment you realized the threat was real and that you had to take action to protect your residents and staff? ‘Right after President Trump said we had 15 cases and it would soon be down to zero.’ I dare not put words in a Baptist minister’s mouth, but it sounds like he listened to what the President of the United States had to say, then decided just the opposite would be true. ‘It does sound like that,’ Reverend DeWitt agreed.”

CNET: Grandma can travel in virtual reality and rent a grandkid when you’re not around

CNET: Grandma can travel in virtual reality and rent a grandkid when you’re not around. “Virtual reality is one of many technologies that can be used to reduce loneliness and social isolation in senior citizens, which researchers have called an epidemic in and of itself. Nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered socially isolated, according to a 2020 study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Research shows older people who report feeling lonely are more likely to face anxiety, depression, suicide, heart disease, stroke and dementia, a risk rivaling smoking, obesity and physical inactivity.”

“Fire Through Dry Grass”: Andrew Cuomo Saw COVID-19’s Threat to Nursing Homes. Then He Risked Adding to It. (ProPublica)

ProPublica: “Fire Through Dry Grass”: Andrew Cuomo Saw COVID-19’s Threat to Nursing Homes. Then He Risked Adding to It.. “A nursing home in Troy, New York, followed the governor’s order to accept patients being treated for COVID-19. Six weeks later, 18 residents were dead of the disease.”