COVID-19 Updates

Assisted Living Operators Need Access To Supplies, Testing, Tittle Says , Expanded Infection Preventionist training and other COVID-19 updates.



Assisted Living Operators Need Access To Supplies, Testing, Tittle Says

Provider Magazine (5/28, Connole, 151K) reports, “Assisted living communities continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic by deploying the same limitations on visitors and other screening and infection control practices seen in skilled nursing facilities, but Scott Tittle, executive director of the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), says operators need access to testing and supplies to maintain high-quality resident care.” Tittle tells Provider, “The story is no different for our providers. There is not adequate access to PPE and testing in assisted living.” The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living “supports testing every resident and staff of skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities, but ongoing testing carries unsustainable costs without continued support from federal and state governments, he says.”


Expanded IPCO Version 2 Training Available Online

Provider Magazine (5/28, 151K) reports, “AHCA/NCAL’s expanded version of its popular Infection Preventionist Specialized Training (IPCO Version 2) in now available.” This “online training is recommended for individuals responsible for infection prevention and control in all long term care settings, including assisted living.” AHCA has long suggested “that each skilled nursing facility train at least two Infection Preventionists through AHCA’s IPCO training program should one Infection Preventionist leave the facility or be unavailable.” Moreover, during “its May 13 weekly call for nursing homes, CMS also recommended that skilled nursing facilities have two Infection Preventionists for the same reasons.”


Online Training Used When Hiring Temporary Nurse’s Aides To Meet Staffing Needs During Pandemic

The Washington Post (5/28, Hauslohner, Sacchetti, 14.2M) reports, “Nursing homes are increasingly hiring housekeepers, waitresses and residents’ own relatives as temporary nurse’s aides after they learn how to feed, bathe and care for elderly and disabled residents in a free eight-hour ‘crash course’ online.” This online “course has attracted thousands of applicants since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services waived the minimum 75-hour training requirements for nurse’s aides in March to address ‘potential staffing shortages’ in nursing homes.” About “38,000 people have earned online certificates as ‘temporary nurse’s aides’ through the new course offered by the American Health Care Association (AHCA).”


Parkinson Praised For Leadership During Pandemic

In a piece for McKnight’s Long Term Care News (5/28), Liza Berger writes about General Ulysses S. Grant. Berger says, “When it comes to leadership, it’s possible to draw some parallels to today with an enemy – COVID-19 – and a certain battlefront – long-term care.” According to Berger, “During this bruising fight, long-term care has…people at the helm who have lent their strong voices and beliefs to the cause,” including Mark Parkinson of the American Health Care Association. Referring to these leaders as “nursing home generals,” Berger says, “with their words and through their leadership, they are winning small battles that eventually, hopefully, will help turn the tide. … They are proving themselves, day in and day out, during this national emergency. And for that, their troops – the nurses and other staff in long-term care – should be proud and grateful.”




“Great Reset” Sparked By COVID-19 May Help Senior Housing Owners Seeking Turnarounds, Reinventions

Senior Housing News (5/26, Mullaney) reports, “The [COVID-19] pandemic has sparked what one analyst is calling a “Great Reset” – and the result has been topsy-turvy for the senior living industry.” Specifically, “investor sentiment may be shifting against senior housing in favor of…skilled nursing sector.” Furthermore, “the pandemic is helping some senior housing owners that have been working for years on turnarounds or reinventions.”


More Than 40% Of SNFs Not Confident About Infection Control Plan Adequacy, Flash Poll Suggests

Skilled Nursing News (5/26, Flynn) reports, “Amid the national emergency caused by COVID-19, infection control in skilled nursing facilities has come under intense scrutiny, with past violations examined under the media microscope – and surveys from the government focused solely on the issue.” A recent “flash poll conducted by the advisory firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP suggested more than 40% of SNFs are not confident about the adequacy of their existing infection control plans to respond to COVID-19, according to a May 21 release from the firm.” According to SNN, “that makes it all the more paramount for SNFs to take stock of their plans, especially given the current high-stakes ramifications of infection control.”


Among LTC Residents, Hip Fracture Rates Are Rising, Research Indicates

McKnight’s Long Term Care News (5/27, Lasek) reports, “Hip fracture rates among long-stay residents in nursing facilities rose slightly after a dip in 2013, bucking a trend toward fewer falls in community settings, according to a new study.” The study found “six-month mortality is 36% in nursing home residents with hip fractures, and 17% of ambulatory residents will become completely disabled, according to the researchers.” The research was published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.


New Tech May Help Older Adults Social Distance During Pandemic

McKnight’s Senior Living (5/27, Bonvissuto) reports, “New technology is breaking up the monotony of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing entertainment and improving quality of life in the process.” For instance, “Boston-based Eversound has launched a new ‘visitation package’ – two-way communication technology that allows senior living residents and their family and friends to safely reconnect through wireless headphones.” In addition, “Dallas-based MyndVR has launched [MyndVR] at Home to provide older adults access to immersive experiences, including travel, music, art, nature and reminiscence therapies.”