Nursing homes provide care for a vulnerable population of frail older adults who are unable to live independently because of a combination of underlying chronic conditions, cognitive and physical impairments, and other age-related disabilities. Residents often face an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 illnesses owing to extrinsic factors such as a lack of adequate infection prevention and control measures to prevent transmission within homes. Combined with communal living environments and high-touch care required, nursing home residents are uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19 and its adverse outcomes.
A cohort study of 5,256 nursing home residents suggests that several characteristics, including sociodemographic characteristics, symptoms, comorbidities, and physical and cognitive impairments can facilitate risk stratification among nursing home residents with COVID-19. In this study, increased age, male sex, and impaired cognitive and physical function were independently associated with mortality. Understanding these risk factors can aid in developing plans of care that may assist in better resident outcomes.
It is critical that we all maintain appropriate infection control practices within our centers, remind staff and residents to wash their hands frequently, screen visitors, social distance, wear appropriate face coverings, and keep high-touch surfaces clean!
Stay the course, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!