The Future Of Nursing Homes

The pandemic has changed the landscape of nursing homes forever.  Let’s make sure that facilities are cleaned properly to forge the way forward.  Check out our visual deep dive on cleanliness of nursing homes below:

The Future of Nursing Homes

The Future Of Nursing Homes 

In the U.S., nursing home residents and staff make up 36% of coronavirus deaths * as of 1/21/21

  • In some states nursing homes account for up to 54% deaths

COVID-19 will have far reaching consequences for the nursing home industry

New Challenges For Nursing Homes

  • Public Perception

1 in 2 Americans feel more negatively toward nursing homes than they did before the coronavirus pandemic

  •  The pandemic brought attention failures in long term care
      • Healthy residents forced to share rooms with those who tested positive
      • Ineffective antibiotic cocktails prescribed to prevent infection
      • Experimental treatments given without family members’ knowledge
      • Nursing home staff becoming a vector for disease transmission
      • Families shocked to find banning visits failed to protect their loved ones
  • Nursing home workers refusing to accept the coronavirus vaccine
    • 20 states have granting legal immunity to nursing homes
  • Falling Occupancy
      • In 2020, nursing home occupancy fell by nearly 20% of pre-pandemic levels
        • February: 85.2%
        • May : 72.2%
        • October: 74.7%
        • December: 68.5%
  • What Caused The Decline?
          • Deaths from COVID-19 and other causes
          • Decline in incoming residents
            • Suspension of non-essential surgeries
            • Admissions bans after outbreaks
    • Rising Costs
      • 65% of nursing homes are now operating at a loss — Another 25% are operating with a margin of less than 3%
  • Top Cost Drivers Due To COVID-19
        • Hiring & Overtime
        • PPE
        • Testing
    • From May to July, 1 in 5 nursing homes reported “severe” shortage of personnel and PPE — with no improvement as the pandemic dragged on

While 90% of people want to avoid nursing homes — 70% of seniors will need long term care at some point in their lives

Planning For The Future

  • Amid the pandemic
    • 3 in 4 adults have changed how they think about the future
      • 2 in 5 are now more willing to save for long term care
      • 1 in 3 have taken actions to financially prepare for long term care
    • Americans have become more aware of the threat posed by new illnesses 
      • For loved ones: 65%
      • For themselves: 53%
  • Nursing home must put their best foot forward to attract new residents
    • “The inadequacy of the current system has been put on display, and it is time to develop new strategies to better match the care provided with the needs of the varied subsets of the institutional long-term care population” — National Academy of Medicine Commentary by Terry T. Fulmer, Christopher F. Koller, & John W. Rowe
  • Residents and their families have new expectations
    • More than half of those looking for an assisted living or memory care facility want an onsite physician or telemedicine available 
    • Frequent and visible cleaning shows residents and their families a facility is safe — disinfection can no longer be confined to the night shift 

Infection control is key to quality care — even after the pandemic has ended

A Path Forward

  • Traditional nursing homes design brings residents together and easily spreads disease
      • Infrastructure 
        • Shared rooms and large groups are common, spreading infection
      • Organization
        • Low staff to resident ratios, limiting ability to increase monitoring
      • Workforce
        • Low pay and high staff turnover, making workforce less resilient
      • Now, nursing homes must show they can improve
  • A Good Reputation Starts With Cleanliness
      • Yelp,  25% of nursing home reviews mention cleanliness
        • The #3 most mentioned topic after staff attitude and responsiveness
      • Prospective residents want to know if a facility is clean before they show up
        • Many use the “sniff test” to determine cleanliness
      • Black & Latino families rank cleanliness higher when looking for a nursing home
        • As more diverse generations age, cleaning will continue to be key
  • Key Areas To Consider
      • Education & Training: Consistent and effective cleaning protocols improve residents’ comfort and health — and ease help worries about a possible outbreak
      • Easy-Of-Use: Simplify with one-step multi surface cleaner and disinfectant — that kills Sars-CoV-2 as well common infections like MRSA, influenza, and C. diff
      • Promote Hand Washing: Encourage frequent and proper hand washing by staff, visitors, and residents and provide the necessary products
      • Smells & Scents: Smells often indicate a facilities isn’t truly clean — but a familiar clean scent can provide a sense of comfort and security
  • Get The Best: Professional cleaning companies offer highly trained subject matter experts — credentialed in the science of cleaning and disinfecting
  • Beyond COVID-19
    • Just 2.5 week after delivering the first dose of vaccines to nursing home residents Connecticut reported a 50% drop in new cases
      • BUT, controlling the spread of disease doesn’t stop with coronavirus
    • Nursing home residents are more likely to develop
      • Antibiotic-Resistant UTIs: +40%
      • Lower Respiratory Tract Infections: +3000%
      • MRSA Carriers: +4200%
      • Sepsis: +2000% — and 7X more likely to be severe
    • Improved surface cleaning and disinfection may reduce healthcare-associated infections by as much as 85%

As the pandemic draws to a close, nursing homes will remain in the spotlight

Stay safe and clean with GBC!



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