Covid Is Making Staff Shortages Worse. Make Sure To Check On Seniors More Frequently Than Usual.
As you are all aware, Covid has revved up recently and is affecting everyone, including the vaccinated. The good news is that most vaccinated people are not getting severely ill. The bad news is that it is causing many home health care facilities and senior living places to be more short-staffed than usual. This can be extremely difficult for families as some places tighten up visitation to protect the residents.
The care at some senior facilities is usually lacking in something on a good day. With the way things are now, the care will probably suffer. Residents will wait much longer for requests for assistance. This can be especially difficult when you need help to go to the bathroom, and you are forced to wait sometimes more than thirty minutes. Many seniors either get up without assistance because they can't wait or are forced to go in their pants. Being forced to go to the bathroom in your pants is humiliating, and getting up unassisted risks a serious fall. This week, I have heard several stories about the long wait times seniors are experiencing. It often causes increased mental anxiety for them. The caregivers are overworked, and many are working too many shifts.
The schedules seniors have for getting up and dressed in the morning, attending meals, and other activities are also affected. This is confusing to the residents, which can then cause them to get upset and act out. If you have a loved one in senior care, make sure you are checking in daily, and if you can visit in person, you should do so. If you can't, you should try to face-time or set up another way to see your family member in addition to talking with them. Ask them specific questions about how things are going with their day. Sometimes they won't tell you something that is going poorly because they need your questions to recall events.
When staffing suffers, the care does as well. This is also when residents can be treated poorly due to exhausted caregivers and insufficient assistance. No matter what is going on in the world, the facility must take care of its residents well and ensure that all their needs are being met. Excuses are not acceptable when paying for services that many seniors can't live without. Make sure to speak up if you feel something is not right. Put your concerns in writing, and always include the executive director in your email, so everyone is on the same page. This way, nobody can tell you they didn't know about your concerns.