Separation from family and friends is a necessary evil during the pandemic. However, depriving residents from families causes isolation, depression, and health problems. Of course, people with cognitive issues suffer the most. They don’t seem to understand.
The New York Times had a fantastic article about the adverse health affects caused by isolation. Thousands of nursing home residents suffer from loneliness, depression and atrophy fueled by isolation. The irony is that lockdowns imposed to protect them from the coronavirus cause other health issues. Safety measures and restricting visitors clearly saved lives but at what cost to quality of life?
“Research groups recently reported that thousands of nursing homes were still facing serious shortages of masks, gowns and other equipment. Adding to the risks, nursing home employees are continuing a long-running practice of working in multiple facilities, increasing the chances they could bring the virus from location to location, particularly if the virus spreads more easily this winter.”
Two economists from the University of Notre Dame released a study. Christopher J. Cronin and William N. Evans wrote the National Bureau of Economic Research working paper.
“These homes exposed their residents to severe isolation in an attempt to prevent infection, subsequently leading to premature death by other causes,” says the study.
More than half a million people tied to facilities were infected. More than 100,000 residents and caregivers have died of the virus. However, residents, their families, and health experts argue that facilities must do something to deal with the physical and mental neglect of social isolation.
Nursing home employees describe increased confusion, anger and anxiety among residents. Family members complain that short-staffed facilities without physical therapy, activities, and socialization hurts their loved ones.