AHCA/NCAL shared the below message earlier today:
In case you missed it, long term care workers are being praised for their heroic work on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an op-ed in
, Keith Hare, president and CEO of the Virginia Health Care Association-Virginia Center for Assisted Living, Melissa Andrews, president and CEO of LeadingAge Virginia and Judy Hackler, executive director of the Virginia Assisted Living Association say long term care workers are unsung heroes who are doing all that they can to protect the most vulnerable. They say:
Heroes work here. The signs have been popping up all over communities across Virginia. Where is “here?” It’s Virginia’s long-term care facilities – our nursing homes and assisted living facilities – that are staffed by unsung heroes who care for tens of thousands of Virginia’s seniors. These heroes are dedicated professionals who have been working to keep our residents – our parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors – safe from this unprecedented virus …
Ensuring quality care has been and will continue to be the highest priority for our residents. Virginia’s long-term care facilities were ahead of the curve in working to beat this virus and keep it out of their centers. Before national guidance was provided on visitation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, nursing homes and assisted living communities began limiting visitors to protect our most vulnerable. We also publicly noted from the start how vital it was that long-term care centers be top priority for the public health response.
It goes without saying that the individuals who work in long-term care are amazing examples of heroes who are doing all they can to help the most vulnerable during this pandemic.
In another piece in the
, Larry Santilli, president and CEO of Athena Health Care Systems and Eleanor Messenger, resident of MeadowBrook of Granby and president of the Resident Council, commend long term care staff for their live-saving work. They write:
Nursing home workers are saving lives. They are saving the lives of their patients by offering care and lifting up their spirits in a time of such fear. And they are saving the lives of the rest of us by serving on the front lines and limiting the reach of this insidious virus …
With a growing number of individuals needing the level of care nursing homes provide, the work they do is more critical now than ever.
Throughout this crisis, the country has been honoring the work of our hospital workers and first responders, our grocery store workers and pharmacists. And rightly so.
But don’t forget to thank our nursing home workers. The work they were doing before this pandemic was difficult on a good day. It’s heroic today.
Leon Kraybill, M.C., the chief of Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health’s geriatric division and post-acute care, published an op-ed in
in which he describes the high level of care workers give residents every day. He writes:
Nursing home care cannot happen at a 6-foot distance. Nursing home residents require extra care because of declining health and function. They have multiple diseases that limit walking, breathing and eating. They need assistance in the intimate details of daily living such as bathing, toileting and dressing.
Nursing home staff graciously provide this physical and emotional care. These nurses, aides and therapists learn to know their residents like family and develop deep emotional bonds.
Nursing home staff do not boast about what they do, but rather quietly deliver compassionate care day after day. They are your neighbors, fellow religious worshippers, shoppers at the store and parents of your children’s friends …
Nursing home lives are not just expendable numbers to be added or subtracted from daily tallies. They are individuals with life stories. They are our parents, our friends and eventually us.
We are fortunate to have wonderful staff members caring for our nursing home residents. Honor these heroes for the care they provide, often unseen and unrecognized, while carrying our community through this crisis.
Long term caregivers are working day and night to care for our country’s most vulnerable citizens. Now more than ever, they need our encouragement and support.