If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us one thing, it is that our nation’s nursing home and assisted living facilities are not being managed with the type of efficiency that our elderly population deserves. The reality is that this problem did not start yesterday; nor will it finish or come to an end tomorrow. It has been the product of decades of neglect and lack of considerable and serious oversight on the part of government agencies. According to healthcare consultant Nadia Kiderman, the situation is the product of a government that has failed to provide adequate oversight and supervision of an industry that’s logistics are as antiquated as can be.
Our elderly population deserves to have the highest quality of care possible provided to them by their healthcare providers. Those in nursing home are the most vulnerable members of that population; and therefore deserve to be handled with the utmost level of sensitivity, care and concern. Technology is something that is not employed effectively in many of these facilities. There is little that has been done in the way of development over the last few decades in the nursing home industry, entirely.
Whereas all other major industries (including those in healthcare) in the private sector have adjusted accordingly as technology has spread with its capabilities; the nursing home industry has lagged behind. This pattern is far from an outlier or an anomaly. And that should strike fear into every one of us. There are basic technology uses that could have great import and utility for enhancing both the quality of care for residents; as well as fostering communication between residents, their families and even senior staff at many facilities.
For example, social media platforms and profiles like Crunchbase can have incredible value to facilities in their quest to inform and keep families and their respective staffs, enlightened about any updates concerning facility closures or anything else that would be of clear input to them.
Linkedin is another helpful tool, that would provide family members of residents the important ability to see any updates in the staffing of facilities. It’s imperative that communication channels be established and employed effectively between nursing home facilities and the family members of residents. What we’ve seen during this pandemic has been nothing short of a nightmare.
With the social distancing measures justifiably being in effect, family members have not been permitted to enter facilities to visit their loved ones. This safety precaution is of course understandable, as the elderly are the most vulnerable and susceptible to contracting the Coronavirus. And of course, it’s equally important that family members be kept safe and secure. But that is certainly no excuse for there not being any available communication channels between families of residents and the residents themselves.
But because of how technology backward the industry is, there were no substantive measures or protocols in place to facilitate these sorts of basic communication channels before the pandemic struck. That is nothing short of pathetic, and family members have every right to be outraged and up in arms over it . It is time for the nursing home industry to come to terms with the fact that we are now living in the twenty-first century; and that the quality of care of its residents needs to be of paramount concern to all.
It is inexcusable that we had to wait for a pandemic of the magnitude of the Coronavirus to strike, in order to shine a proper light on this absolute absurdity. But alas, the pandemic has struck and nursing homes naturally became the hotbed of tragedy through it all. Now that a light has justifiably been shone on it ; one can only hope that the conversation public health officials are having with lawmakers leads to substantive changes and progress. You can read about Nadia’s further thoughts on this and related matters at her website at https://drnadiakidermandentist.wordpress.com/about/