JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on nursing home patients and their families and AARP wants congress to step up with more funding for the facilities.
They are calling on families and loved ones to reach out to federal lawmakers as the virus continues to spread.
AARP State officials are launching a nationwide nursing home/COVID-19 dashboard to address the critical needs of nursing homes and long term care facilities.
AARP MS State Director Kimberly Campbell is urging families with loved ones in nursing homes and long term care facilities to petition their federal lawmakers for more funding.
“We need to make sure they’re well taken care of in every way,” said Campbell.
According to officials more than 84,000 nursing home residents and staff have died of the Coronavirus. Nine hundred 91 deaths were reported in Mississippi.
The organization is stressing the need for PPE for staff and more testing for residents and those inside the facilities.
“They can only do so much and they don’t have the financial means or the limited staff,” said the AARP state head. “Sometimes that’s another issue, are they adequately staffed to capacity to support all the extra needs now going on because of COVID”.
AARP Mississippi stresses that the next funding should include virtual visitation with loved ones.
They want money for more staff and training to help residents to communicate.
“Just as important to those residents has been social isolation,” said Campbell. “Many of them are used to seeing loved ones on a regular basis and so sometimes a phone call is not enough. They want to see the face of your daughter, the face of your nephew”.
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living is encouraging lawmakers pass a relief package to include PPE and masks.
They cite the potential for a third spike in cases in long term care facilities due to increasing community spread.