Of all the business industries impacted by the pandemic, nursing homes felt the brunt more than most. Residents were suddenly shut in and denied face-to-face contact with their loved ones. By the time that restrictions were lifted, relief set in.
Yet, for many, the damage had been done, particularly on a psychological level, leaving countless residents suffering from anxiety and depression. Nursing homes attempting to step up and find ways to treat patients are finding scarcity when it comes to behavioral health professionals, including psychologists and social workers.
Getting caught up in cognitive health services
More work and fewer staff members are creating a dangerous balance in facilities throughout the country, particularly when it comes to the cognitive health of residents. Face-to-face interaction with staff, ongoing activities, and timely professional assessments are of paramount importance.
Striking a balance between the mental health of residents and available resources to promote that well-being presents challenges. Part of the solution combines consistency with a clinician focused on a specific specialty. The scattershot approach during COVID-19 saw clinicians outside of the behavior health specialty filling in when they could. The result was confusing and inconsistent diagnoses.
Pushing the reset button requires more specialists onsite and improved education of LPNs, RNs, and CNAs. Challenges involving a lack of staff continue. A pandemic changed the world. For nursing homes, finding innovative ways to care for residents is an essential step in returning back to “normal.”
Placing trust in nursing home staff to care for a loved one presents challenges post-COVID. Far too many residents suffered more harm than help, a problem that will likely continue during a difficult readjustment. The support of an attorney may become necessary to ensure the well-being of a family member.