How Has the Pandemic Impacted the Senior Care Industry?
These past 15 months have taught the world one immutable truth: things change. While the senior care industry, as a whole, was anticipating being the number one job creator and more demand with the baby boomer generation retiring, few experts predicted what would happen next… a pandemic.
Now that we are more than a year into this ongoing crisis, a lot has changed within the industry, and not all of it for the better. Families and loved ones of seniors in care homes and facilities found themselves on the outside looking in. They were unable to visit, even with aging parents or a spouse who was dealing with end of life emergencies.
It was certainly a trying and difficult time for everyone involved, and sadly, it’s not over yet. While every senior who needed care was affected in one way or another by this pandemic, perhaps few as drastically as those who are dealing with the impacts of Alzheimer’s.
September is World Alzheimer’s Month, which means it’s an important time to reflect and see how the lockdowns and social distancing orders have impacted not just the seniors dealing with dementia, but their family and friends as well.
Symposiums and conferences are bringing together professionals from within the senior care sector to not only find ways to address Covid, but also steps that can be taken moving forward that may allow these elderly men and women struggling with health issues and terminal diseases avoid being sequestered away from their loved ones when they need them most.
According to a press release, Area Elder Care Symposium Set to Explore What Went Wrong in the Pandemic with Elder Care, published by Business Insider:
“The past 19 months have been an awful natural case study about the effects of Alzheimer’s on patients and families, and the need for residential long-term care support,” Karlawish said. “However, if we look at the reasons behind the crisis, there are things we can do moving forward, both in the regulatory realm and the scientific realm. We are making progress in understanding the disease, which will lead to therapies that improve the lives of patients and their families. But it is a complicated disease and likely not something a single drug will solve.”
Senior care was once thought of as an industry that wouldn’t change much, that wouldn’t need to change all that much. However, it became clear in the wake of this pandemic that some things can and will happen outside of the control of those who seek to care for our aging population.
There is no predicting the next pandemic, or the next crisis, but it is clear that there will be another one to face sometime in the future. As long as the senior care industry, as a whole, evaluates the mistakes and challenges and triumphs it faces during on -such as Covid- it can grow stronger and more resilient, able to better care for and support the men and women who need these services the most.