Moving Elderly Back Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic | COVIDConvo with Dr. Wendy Tong | Ep. 6

In this episode of Global Edge Talk, you’ll learn about all the things you might have to think of when moving your elderly loved ones back home from the nursing home.

Alex and Dr. Wendy Tong, MD MHA, talk about the recent events related to the COVID-19 pandemic happening all over the world and discuss topics like healthcare, eldercare, and keeping your loved ones safe. 

Join the weekly COVIDConvo to be the first to get updates on the healthcare industry during the tough times.

Quick Summary:

Alex – About three weeks ago, in one of our first COVIDConvo segments, we talked about how rampant COVID-19 is in nursing homes and you recommended that families consider taking their senior loved ones out of a nursing home if they reside in one and you gave some tips and advice on making such a move. Today’s topic revisits this topic of COVID in nursing homes because the number of COVID related deaths in nursing homes continues to skyrocket and in the past week surpassed 16,000 accounting for a quarter of the overall deaths in the US. The number of confirmed cases in nursing homes is 97K. We’ve heard of gruesome reports of bodies piling up in these facilities and workers going on strike and just not showing up to work en masse leaving residents stranded. It’s truly apocalyptic. Wendy – It’s really horrific what’s going on in nursing homes. If I had a family member in one, I’d have no hesitation in moving them. It could save their life! But I also understand how families could be fearful of taking such action. The fears an adult child might have in bringing a parent who has been living in a nursing home into their own home, are very real. There could be fear of bringing the infection into the home. There’s also the fear of being able to adequately take care of a senior who has been taken care of by healthcare professionals in a residential healthcare setting. And there’s a very real fear of being able to financially afford to duplicate that level of care in the home setting. 

Alex – Can you tell me how much it costs to live in a nursing home and what services that usually provide?
Wendy – There’s a broad spectrum of nursing homes in how much they charge based upon region. I will use Colorado (where Wendy’s Team is based) as a median benchmark. A nursing home in Colorado costs about $7000 for a double occupancy room and $8000 for a private room. These are rooms that typically look and feel very much like hospital rooms. They will have an attached bathroom. Multiple rooms are grouped similarly to a hospital wing. The standard pricing includes meals, laundry, housekeeping and 24-hour on-site staff. You usually have to pay extra for medication administration and certain therapies such as wound care, physical or occupational therapy.

Alex – If I were to bring my parents home from a nursing home, how could I duplicate those services with what I’d usually pay the nursing home?
Wendy – For $7000-$8000 per month, you can pay a caregiver to provide meals, laundry, housekeeping, medication supervision, and continuous 1:1 attention for 8-10 hours every day. This should be enough of a respite for an adult family caregiver to go to work and even tend to other responsibilities. These are the non-clinical elder care services that Wendy’s Team provides at $25 per hour. For the clinical services, skilled home care can be arranged and are covered by Medicare but you need these ordered by a physician. 

To listen to Dr. Wendy’s full Global Edge Talk episode on Coronavirus Outbreak and Healthcare System in the US click HERE.

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