In my last two columns, I’ve focused on a “big picture” view of eldercare. This week, I’m highlighting a way in which individuals can mend their mental health after an extremely difficult year, particularly for those of us in the field of long-term care.
Chances are that it’s been a tense, stressful, sad time both personally and professionally. One technique that psychotherapists recommend to process and release these feelings is to write about them.
Below, I draw comparisons between April 2020 and April 2021, using narrative to acknowledge both my experiences as an essential worker and the vast improvements in the situation since that time.
Then: New York City, where I work, was the pandemic epicenter and almost completely shut down. Sirens filled the air at all hours of the day and night. New York nursing homes were mandated to take in residents with COVID-19.
Now: The city is coming back to life. Sirens have been replaced by the honking horns of commuters with late-pandemic irritability. Nursing homes have been mandated not to take in residents with COVID.
Then: The census was shockingly low. The fees for COVID residents were probably what was keeping many facilities afloat.
Now: The census is high again. The national trend of facilities being acquired by for-profit companies is probably what’s keeping many places afloat.