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The importance of geriatric nursing assistants in a post-COVID world

Geriatric nursing assistants are responsible for performing the brunt of the work in elderly care — helping patients eat, bathe, monitor their vitals and other health signals and take their prescribed medications. They also provide much needed companionship, which is crucial given the current loneliness epidemic. Underpaid and underappreciated, these healthcare professionals were already in short supply before the COVID-19 pandemic; when the coronavirus hit the United States, the shortage turned into a full-blown staffing crisis.

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Past, present and future: Geriatrics in American health care

Long before COVID-19, the geriatric specialty faced a major challenge. Projections in the United States show a potential national shortage of 26,980 full-time geriatricians, leaving the growing senior population and their complex chronic conditions in limbo. So how did we get here and why? In these Essential Insights, we dive into four areas of concern that will need to be explored to prevent the projected massive shortage of geriatricians in the next five years.

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The new face of nursing home visits

With over 32,000 deaths and 95,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities across the country, it’s very clear that there will be seismic change to the way the industry, the patients and their loved ones view long-term care for seniors. As the rest of the country begins to reopen, nursing homes stay shuttered as health officials begin to reimagine the new normal for long-term care facilities in a post COVID-19 world in these Essential Insights.

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When epidemic and pandemic collide: The significant impact of isolation on seniors

Seniors across the country find themselves dealing with social distancing and isolation with nursing homes across the country closed to all visitors until further notice. Long before COVID-19, loneliness played such a significant role in patient outcomes for seniors that the American Psychological Association characterized it as an epidemic. With May recognized as “Mental Health Awareness” month, these Essential Insights detail a symptom that has been in the spotlight even more due to the pandemic: loneliness.

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Is today’s wearable technology forgetting about seniors?

Major manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung and Philips continue to invest in wearable devices – from activity trackers to heart rate monitors and sleep trackers. Today’s more popular wearable technology tends to be geared toward a younger, tech-savvier generation. But what about seniors? naviHealth Executive Medical Director Jennifer Terrell, MD, provides insight into the significant impact that wearable technology can have for seniors.