IN THE NEWS

A National Disgrace: 40,600 Deaths Tied to US Nursing Homes

By | IN THE NEWS, Long Term Care, Medicaid, Nursing Homes

USA Today: A National Disgrace: 40,600 Deaths Tied to US Nursing Homes (June 1, 2020)

Over the last three months, more than 40,600 long-term care residents and workers have died of COVID-19 – about 40% of the nation’s death toll attributed to the coronavirus, according to an analysis of state data gathered by USA TODAY. That number eclipses a count released Monday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal government’s first attempt at a comprehensive tally. CMS said 25,923 residents had died, but its number only includes federally regulated nursing homes, not assisted living facilities. And this, even as families are not allowed to visit loved ones. “Without an end in sight, home operators need to do more to connect residents with their loved ones outside,” said Eric Carlson, a directing attorney at Justice in Aging.

Nursing Homes Fought Federal Emergency Plan Requirements for Years. Now, They’re Coronavirus Hot Spots

By | IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Nursing Homes

Pro Publica: Nursing Homes Fought Federal Emergency Plan Requirements for Years. Now, They’re Coronavirus Hot Spots (May 29, 2020)

The long-term care industry resisted a federal mandate to plan for disasters including pandemics. About 43% of nursing homes have been caught violating the requirement, including facilities that have now had deadly COVID-19 outbreaks. The lack of pandemic plans helps explain why nursing homes have been caught unprepared for the new coronavirus, patient advocates and industry observers said. Since inspectors are tasked with identifying immediate hazards, they may be less focused on scrutinizing emergency plans, said Eric Carlson, directing attorney of Justice in Aging.

Some Nursing Homes Escaped COVID-19-Here’s What they Did Right

By | Health Care, Health Equity, Home & Community Based Services, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Medicare, Nursing Homes, Person-Centered Care Planning

Wired: Some Nursing Homes Escaped COVID-19-Here’s What they Did Right (May 29, 2020)

Cmiel’s staff stocked up on personal protective equipment and masks for workers and residents; screened everyone who walked in the door for symptoms; hired more staff to clean bathrooms and common areas; and started educating everyone on best practices for containing the virus. And while nursing homes account for nearly half of California’s coronavirus fatalities, at the SFCJL not a single resident has tested positive for the virus. Not all facilities were so lucky. A better approach to keep older people safe from Covid-19 would be to care for them in their homes, keeping them out of long-term residential settings. “There should be a continuum of care, and institutional care should really be reserved for people who need it, who can’t be successful and safe in their own homes,” said Claire Ramsey, Senior Staff Attorney at Justice in Aging.

Transfer Trauma: America’s Seniors Suffer as Care System Pushes them Between Sites

By | IN THE NEWS, Nursing Homes

The Guardian: Transfer Trauma: America’s Seniors Suffer as Care System Pushes them Between Sites (May 28, 2020)

Transfer trauma, a nonclinical term for what elders experience when they are moved from one facility to another, is something elder care advocates see families confront every day. “It’s extremely common,” Eric Carlson of Justice in Aging said. “It’s a very dangerous point in the life of a nursing facility resident when the Medicare has ended.”

Rethinking How America Cares for its Elderly

By | Health Disparities, Health Equity, Home & Community Based Services, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Medicare

Street Roots: Rethinking How America Cares for its Elderly (May 26, 2020)

Before COVID-19 sent the United States hurdling toward a devastating economic recession, 37 million adults aged 50 and older were already living in poverty — with another 10 million on the brink. Like it has with so many other social issues in the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic has illuminated the economic hardship and isolation facing many of our nation’s senior citizens, and the lack of value placed on the people who care for them. Executive Director Kevin Prindiville was interviewed for this article. “We’ve underinvested in our Medicaid programs and long-term care programs that help people stay home and in their community, which leaves many families with the only option to move an older family member into an institution,” Prindiville said.

Op-Ed: Revised Budget Puts Older Californians, Communities at Risk

By | Health Disparities, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Medicare

Cal Matters: Op-Ed: Revised Budget Puts Older Californians, Communities at Risk (May 26, 2020)

During a public health crisis like this, few things are more important than making sure people can access health care. But somehow in the budget revision, it’s health care that gets the biggest cut; and not just health care for anyone – it cuts health programs that older adults with low incomes rely on. Older Californians are not expendable. They are vital members of our families and communities who built a state strong enough to weather this storm. The governor and the Legislature need to come up with a final budget that respects and protects them. This op-ed was co-authored by Claire Ramsey, Senior Staff Attorney at Justice in Aging, and Linda Nguy, Health Policy Advocate at Western Center on Law & Poverty

California Seniors are Worried About These Cuts in Gavin Newsom’s New Budget. Here’s Why

By | Health Disparities, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Newsroom

Sacramento Bee: California Seniors are Worried About These Cuts in Gavin Newsom’s New Budget. Here’s Why (May 26, 2020)

Newsom’s revised budget plan, announced earlier this month, seeks to close a projected $54.3 billion budget deficit brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. It includes about $646 million in proposed cuts that worry seniors and their advocates because they would reduce health care options and access to programs that allow elderly residents to stay at home and out of nursing homes, which have been hotbeds for COVID-19 outbreaks. Claire Ramsey, senior staff attorney at Justice in Aging, said the May budget plan in all “proposes severe and devastating cuts to the very programs that keep older adults and people with disabilities living safely in their home.”

“Just” Old People Are Dying: Ageism and the Coronavirus Response

By | Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Long Term Care, Medicaid, Newsroom, Uncategorized

KQED Forum: “Just” Old People Are Dying: Ageism and the Coronavirus Response (May 21, 2020)

Nearly 80% of those who have died from COVID-19 in California were over the age of 65, yet health care for seniors was slashed in the Governor’s proposed state budget. Advocates for the elderly say its just another example of ageism, which has been exacerbated during the pandemic. From suggestions that old peoples lives be sacrificed for the sake of the economy to the struggle to get PPE and tests in nursing homes, guests on the show discussed the role ageism is playing in the coronavirus response. Justice in Aging Executive Director, Kevin Prindiville was a guest on the show.

The US Communities Hit Hardest by COVID-19 are also the most Ignored

By | IN THE NEWS, Uncategorized

Quartz: The US Communities Hit Hardest by COVID-19 are also the most Ignored (May 21, 2020)

People who aren’t proficient in English—particularly those who are older, and may not be tech-savvy enough to find the resources they need online—have largely been left out of the conversation around Covid-19, and their care has fallen through the cracks. Justice in Aging attorney, Denny Chan, was interviewed for this piece and talks about one problem being that intersectional data isn’t being collected. “Not everyone is collecting or reporting intersectional data deaths broken down by age. That means aid organizations have to go by the anecdotes they hear. What we know is true on the ground is that older adults and older people of color are more likely to have severe complications.”

 

California Budget Analysis

By | Economic Security, Health Care, IN THE NEWS

Major Cuts to the Programs that Serve Older Adults Must Be Rejected

On May 14, 2020, Governor Newsom released the May Revision of the 2020-21 budget. Despite the increased need for services and supports for older adults during the COVID-19 crisis, the May Revision contains numerous and devastating cuts to the programs that older adults need and use to stay safe and healthy in their communities. Older Californians of color are at most risk of serious disease and death due to COVID-19 and these cuts will only act to widen already unacceptable disparities in access to care and health outcomes.

Read More