This week, the Associated Press published an article that sheds light on nursing home neglect in the United States. The article follows a man, Donald Wallace, who luckily avoided COVID-19 infection when it surged through his nursing home. However, Wallace faced another horrible effect of the pandemic: nursing home neglect. Wallace became malnourished and suffered from septic shock, a urinary infection, E. coli, and aspiration pneumonia.
Wallace’s son claims that his father was forgotten about because of the pandemic. The Associated Press estimated that nursing home death rates are increasing, not only because of COVID-19, but because there is an increase in those “who died prematurely of other causes,” most likely due to neglect as nursing homes focus on residents with COVID-19. For example, “in homes where at least 3 in 10 residents had the virus,” the death rate “for reasons besides the virus was double what would be expected without a pandemic.” Several are blaming understaffing and overwhelmed employees for these effects of the virus.
For more on this story, check out the Associated Press’s article here.