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Editor's e-Note
It’s well known that minorities are bearing a disproportionate burden of illness resulting from COVID-19. Mark Parkinson, JD, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association (ACHA); Debbie Meade, AHCA board chair; and Helen Crunk, board chair of the National Center for Assisted Living, recently delivered a statement addressing the disparity and calling for change.

In addition to reading our e-newsletter, be sure to visit Today’s Geriatric Medicine’s website at, where you’ll find news and information that’s relevant and reliable. We welcome your feedback at Follow Today’s Geriatric Medicine on Facebook and Twitter, too.

— Kate Jackson, editor
e-News Exclusive
Racial Inequity in Long Term Care

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country that provide care to approximately 5 million people each year, released the following statement in reaction to rising protests across the country following the death of George Floyd as well as evidence correlating COVID-19 cases in long term care to Black and Latino residents.

The following statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, JD, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL; Debbie Meade, AHCA board chair; and Helen Crunk, NCAL board chair.

“This year has proven to be the most challenging year in the history of the long term care sector. Sadly, it’s also proving to be one of the most challenging for the country as a whole.

“The deaths of tens of thousands of elderly people, many in our long term care facilities, has been devastating. We know that it’s been even more painful to the families of those that COVID-19 has taken. Adding to the pain is the unfortunate reality that despite us screaming for help, as loudly as possible, our residents were ignored. Equally frustrating is that many of those who ignored our cries are now the first to lay blame at our feet.

“While this tragedy has been taking place, our country is once again being torn apart by racism and racial inequity. The death of George Floyd was no accident and it is not an isolated event. It is just the most recent occurrence in a legacy of racial inequality in this country that we can only end by acknowledging it.

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Other Geriatrics News
Home Care in the Age of Pandemic
Countless older adults who require home care are reasonably frightened by the prospect of being in proximity to home health care workers who may have been exposed to the coronavirus. The New York Times reports on the challenges and increased risks the COVID-19 pandemic is posing for roughly 6 million older adults who rely on home care.

The Lingering Effects of COVID-19
While the majority of patients afflicted by COVID-19 are on the mend in a period of weeks, a substantial number of patients are suffering for a month or more with severe symptoms. The Atlantic looks at the experience of these “long-termers.”

Surviving Coronavirus
While older adults are at greater risk of death as a result of COVID-19 infection, numerous older patients are surviving the virus, and many nursing home residents suffer only mild symptoms. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on theories to explain the disparity of experiences.

Nursing Home Workers on the Front Lines in the Pandemic
More than one-third of COVID-19 fatalities have occurred among nursing home residents. Nursing staff struggle to protect and serve their patients at the same time they face concerns about their own health and safety. Time Magazine reports on the facts and the controversies.
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