Effect of Covid on Long-Term Care Residents
Covid-19 is a deadly pandemic that has practically resulted in enormous pressure on the
whole system of health care. It is, however, considered one of the most tragic impacts experienced
on the long-term care system for both older and younger individuals in the countless residential
care programs across the globe. The mentioned impact has primarily been felt in the nursing
homes with more than 85% of the clients or residents among the most vulnerable part of the
population (older individuals). Several million residents of nursing homes have succumbed to
this deadly virus across the world.
There is need to insist on the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted nursing
homes negatively, and massive outbreaks have been reported in the home care facilities. Visitors,
care workers, and residents have all been affected from the onset. Many countries have
subsequently reported that an essential fraction from the overall number of deaths due to the
SARS-CoV-2 infection practically emerged from their nursing homes; including Spain, France,
Canada, Belgium, and the United States of America (National Academies of Sciences,
Engineering, and Medicine 2020).
The pandemic has also affected the residents’ mental health in 2 fundamental kind of
ways; including directly via infection and indirectly via psychological stresses and social
isolation. In addition to its known systemic and pulmonary effects, covid-19 has infected the
nervous system of at least one-third to one-half of the symptomatic residents. Some of the
common acute neurological symptoms include loss of taste and smell as well as headache.
Besides, more concerning symptoms of this include delirium, peripheral neuropathy,
encephalitis, stroke, psychosis, neurocognitive impairment, and anxiety and mood disorders
(National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2020). The mentioned symptoms
are viewed as acutely and they have proven to linger for weeks to months afterwards.
Key indicators of the above-mentioned infection ideally include changes in alertness,
energy, orientation, concentration, appetite, and sleep for the susceptible older persons in the
long-term care. Coronavirus testing is highly recommended for any suspected situation of
residents with the various neuropsychiatric changes despite the symptoms of cough or fever
being classic or respiratory (In Aarts et al 2021). Patients in long-term health care need early
psychiatric consultation for purposes of ensuring rapid treatment and identification of the
symptoms. The patients with dementia or frailty need to be mobilized physically with immediate
effect in order to achieve building confidence, reduce deconditioning, and further promote
engagement with others.
Older people in the long-term care have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19.
the introduction of visiting restrictions since the actual beginning of this pandemic in these
facilities has impacted on visitors negatively, including close friends, family, and guardians.
There is need to note that the visits from friends and family are central and important to the care
of residents’ anxiety, buffering against loneliness, and depression by offering advocacy,
continuity, and emotional support (In Aarts et al 2021). These family friends and members
(visitors) further assist in offering personal care to their older one at the facility. Visiting offer
the residents with the essential sense of worthiness, meaning, and connectedness. Hence, the
absence or delay of strong social support has proven harmful to both psychological and physical
wellbeing of the residents. This further results in the excess mortality risk.
Interactions have a tendency of getting lost when visitation is stopped or restricted. The
situation also affects the many visitors in a negative manner, disrupting coping mechanisms,
bonds, and even their identities. Care home residents practically found themselves as the most
vulnerable population during the covid-19 pandemic. Some of the reasons that resulted to the
various dramatic outcomes in the various nursing homes include the lack of official regulations
as well as guides. This is with reference to the natural disasters for the shelters of these elderly
persons around the globe.
The pandemic is on record for considerably affecting the elderly residents in LTCF, and
this is what has resulted in high mortality and morbidity. It is very important to note the fact that
the pandemic has substantially affected the older and vulnerable individuals in care homes more
than any other category across the globe. The social and health sectors have, hence, proven their
interdependence in the period when the mentioned shortages encountered in the healthcare
practically became stubborn obstacles in providing for and sheltering the most fragile individuals
(Gastfriend, 2018). Discrepancies between private and public sectors, a lack of standardized
guidelines, underfunding, as well as certain other well-established irregularities have
substantially resulted in what can be described as a dramatic outcome for the residents of nursing
The clients in the many long-term care centers across the world need to be taken good
care of and protected against this pandemic for them to enjoy living their lives as normal without
any stress. Measures need to be taken in place to ensure nothing compromises or interferes with
the normal life and activities of the clients. In fact, the primary thing that ought to be done is
encouraging family and friends to visit them often. Measures also need to be put in place to
ensure all the visitors of the vulnerable individuals are safe and free from covid-19.
Gastfriend, J. (2018). My parent's keeper: The guilt, grief, guesswork, and unexpected gifts of
In Aarts, E. H. L., In Fleuren, H., In Sitskoorn, M., & In Wilthagen, A. C. J. M. (2021). The new
common: How the Covid-19 pandemic is transforming society. Cham, Switzerland:
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (U.S.). (2020). Social isolation and
loneliness in older adults: Opportunities for the health care system.