COVID-19 Updates

Influenza Prevention- PLEASE DO NOT OVERLOOK VACCINATIONS against flu because of involvement with COVID-19


Expert Highlights Areas Of Focus For Influenza Prevention, Control

In a piece for Provider Magazine (9/1, 151K), Denise Winzeler, RN-BSN, LNHA, DNS-CT, QCP, curriculum development specialist for the American Association of Directors of Nursing Services (AADNS), wrote, “Unfortunately, in addition to the ongoing pandemic, flu season is looming just around the corner. Now more than ever, facilities need to be proactive in protecting their residents.” Winzeler highlighted “four areas for facilities to focus on for influenza prevention and control this fall, while also remaining in substantial compliance with the Focused Infection Control Survey from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.” For instance, Winzeler said, “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), health care personnel (HCP) need to implement standard precautions when caring for residents with influenza,” which include: “Hand hygiene; Glove use for any contact with potentially infectious material; and Gown use for any patient-care activity when contact with blood, body fluids, secretions (including respiratory), or excretions is anticipated.”

Sunday Is Deadline For Certain Relief Fund Applications

McKnight’s Senior Living (9/11, Bowers) reports, “Sunday is the deadline for assisted living operators and all others applying for funding under the Provider Relief Fund phase 2 general distribution allocation to begin the application process by submitting a tax identification number for validation.” HHS “announced the availability of funds for private-pay assisted living operators on Sept. 1.” The agency “preliminarily has determined assisted living communities that are eligible for funding based on information from state licensing boards and information from providers submitted via a data collection portal established by” NCAL and other organizations.

Doctors Without Borders Works To Help Fight COVID-19 In Houston Nursing Homes

The Houston Chronicle (9/10, Foxhall, 730K) reports on the program run by Doctors without Borders to fight COVID-19 in Houston nursing home’s. According to the Chronicle, “the module they brought was piloted in Belgium, then launched in Detroit,” which “aims to help nursing home staff – including those who clean or cook – ensure they’re doing all they can to stop infection from spreading.” Texas Health Care Association president and CEO Keith Warren said the fact “that they are teaching by showing, not telling, is an added value when there is already so much infection-control guidance.”

State Association Concerned Over Rhode Island’s Loosened Coronavirus Testing Requirement

The Providence (RI) Journal (9/10, Amaral, 259K) reports, “Nursing homes in Rhode Island are raising a red flag over a state policy change that they say could reignite coronavirus infections in the hard-hit facilities.” Rather than “testing negative twice for the coronavirus before someone is discharged from a hospital into a nursing home, the state now says a person only has to test negative once, according to the Rhode Island Health Care Association.” In an interview, association president and CEO Scott Fraser said, “For the safety of our residents, a second test is going to catch a number of COVID cases that can be stopped before they get into the nursing homes.”

McKnight’s Long Term Care News (9/11, Brown) reports that Fraser said, “Two negative tests has been shown to be a good policy, and we think it should be kept.”


Michigan To Expand Nursing Home Visitation Next Week

The Detroit Free Press (9/10, Anderson, 1.52M) reports “visitation will be expanded at nursing homes to allow outdoor visits starting next week, the [Michigan] health department said in a news release.” The state’s “Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon signed the order on Thursday affecting residents in several types of long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, independent living facilities and assisted living facilities.” The order “goes into effect Tuesday.”

The Detroit News (9/10, Ferretti, 825K) reports the order “will allow appointment-only visits at facilities that haven’t had any new cases originating at their sites within the prior 14 days.” People who visit the facilities “must observe social-distancing rules, and those who cannot or will not wear a face covering during the entire visit are excluded, state health officials said.”

MLive (MI) (9/10, DesOrmeau, 925K) reports “facilities aren’t required to allow the visits and county health departments can prohibit visitation if necessary, due to COVID-19 flare ups.”

Lifestyle Risk For Dementia May Be Reduced By Multi-Focus Program, Study Suggests

McKnight’s Long Term Care News (9/10, Marselas) reports, “Seniors educated on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, Mediterranean diet, physical activity and cognitive engagement made enough changes to improve cognition after earlier testing for mild impairment, Australian researchers reported this week” in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. In their study, “half of all participants were offered sessions with dietitians and an exercise physiologist, as well as access to online brain training and general information on improving lifestyle to improve cognition.” The researchers found that “after eight weeks, those receiving the supports showed ‘significantly higher’ cognition scores than those who received education only on all four topics.”

Awareness Of High Blood Pressure Control, Treatment Is Declining In US, Study Shows

McKnight’s Long Term Care News (9/9, Marselas) reports, “After almost 15 years of improvement, awareness among Americans about high blood pressure, how to control it and how best to treat it is on the decline, a new study finds.” According to a new study published by JAMA, “some groups, including older adults, are less likely than they were in earlier years to adequately control their blood pressure.” The study “authors said the trend could make longstanding efforts to fight heart disease and stroke – leading causes of death in the United States – even more challenging.”

More Preoperative Depression Symptoms May Be Associated With Higher Risk Of Functional Decline Following Surgery, Research Indicates

McKnight’s Long Term Care News (9/10, Marselas) reports, “Having more preoperative symptoms of depression was associated with a higher chance of functional decline in the year following orthopedic, gastrointestinal or vascular surgery, according to a study published this week in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.” Researchers discovered “that older adults with depressive symptoms were more likely to be discharged to a post-acute care facility, but those same symptoms conditions weren’t linked to longer hospitalizations or 30-day readmissions.” Specifically, they “found that 73% of individuals with the highest level of depressive symptoms needed follow-up care in a post-acute setting, compared with 50% of those in the group with least symptoms.”

Senior Living Median Occupancy Has Stayed Approximately Same As Two Months Ago, Survey Indicates

McKnight’s Senior Living (9/11, Bonvissuto) reports, “Median occupancy in senior living has not varied dramatically from two months ago, specialty investment bank Ziegler found in its latest CFO Hotline survey on the effects of COVID-19.” Specifically, “the highest occupancy rate (92%) in late August / early September was reported for independent living, compared with 88% for memory care, 86% for assisted living and 78% for skilled nursing.” In comparison “with results of the last survey, in late June / early July, independent living occupancy has dropped 1%, memory care occupancy is unchanged, assisted living occupancy has fallen 2%, and skilled nursing occupancy has increased 1%.”

One-Fourth Of Older Adults Live In Three US States, Report Shows

McKnight’s Senior Living (9/11, Bonvissuto) reports, “One-fourth of America’s 52 million older adults call a collective three states home, according to a ranking of states based on the percentage of their 65+ population.” In a recent report, “using data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey estimates, Stacker ranked all 50 states and Washington, D.C….based on the age of their populations, finding that California, Florida and Texas are the three states with the largest 65+ populations.” Specifically, “California has 5.3 million seniors (ranked No. 45 by percentage of its state population of seniors, at 13.6%), Florida has 4.1 million seniors (ranked No. 1 by percentage of state population, with 19.7%) and Texas (ranked No. 48 by percentage of state population, with 3.5%) has 971,168 seniors.”