From the beginning, experts said that the elderly would be among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.
To date, of the nearly 450 COVID-related deaths in Nevada, 84 percent were in the 60-and-up age range. And more than 25 percent of all COVID-related deaths in the state have happened in nursing homes and assisted care facilities.
For those seniors battling or dodging the virus, it has often meant fear and isolation. The governor warned against visiting elderly parents. Up until recently, hospitals banned all visitors.
While that isolation can protect against the virus, the dearth of contact can mean the lack of vital mental stimulation, said Dr. Kelley Macmillan, director of community and social services for the Sanford Center for Aging at the University of Nevada, Reno.
“Folks who have a cognitive impairment and are socially engaged and physically active, it helps to mitigate to some of the impacts of cognitive impairment,” Macmillan told State of Nevada.
Macmillan said many families are making use of teleconferencing or old-fashioned phone calls to keep older relatives engaged.
Dr. Michael Johnson, Director of Community Health, Southern Nevada Health District; Jennifer Williams-Woods, Long Term Care Ombudsman, Aging and Disability Services Division of Nevada Department of Health & Human Services; Scott Gulbransen, State Director of Communications, AARP Nevada; Jeff Duncan, Social Services Chief II, Aging & Disability Services Division of Nevada Department of Health & Human Services; Randy Reinoso, Assistant Director, Clark County Social Service; Dr. Kelley Macmillan, director of community and social services for the Sanford Center for Aging at the University of Nevada, Reno.
You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for. If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.