Thursday, December 31, 2020
In the wake of the pandemic, Americans are having to take extra, and often new steps to take care of their elderly. These new family decisions include avoiding nursing homes and other rehabilitation homes for the elderly, leaving Americans to care for their loved ones in their own homes.
America has a long history of using institutions to care for the at-risk elderly. "The U.S. has the largest number of nursing-home residents in the world. But families and some doctors have been reluctant to send patients to such facilities, fearing infection and isolation in places ravaged by Covid-19, which has caused more than 115,000 deaths linked to U.S. long-term-care institutions."
Since the spring, there has been a drop of in the number of patients in nursing homes and similar facilities. "Occupancy in U.S. nursing homes is down by 15%, or more than 195,000 residents, since the end of 2019, driven both by deaths and by the fall in admissions."
This has created financial problems for nursing-homes, with even the biggest U.S. nursing-home company stating that it may not have the money to fulfill its financial obligations.
See Anna Wilde Mathews & Tom McGinty, Covid Spurs Families to Shun Nursing Homes, a Shift That Appears Long Lasting, Wall Street Journal, December 21, 2020.
Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.