ong COVID effects go on and on…
The turning leaves of autumn symbolize change in the weather, in our daily schedules with children returning to school, and, with the inevitable cold and flu season just around the corner, changes in our level of protection against illnesses. While most of the U.S. will be worried about new cases, there are still those suffering long-term effects of having had COVID in the past.
The declaration of the end of the Pandemic Emergency and the fading prominence of masks may lead one to believe that we have turned a corner on the COVID-19 crisis. This assumption, however, overlooks the millions still battling the consequences of this devastating virus.
For senior care providers, the COVID-19 era presents a multi-faceted challenge. Care providers are tasked with safeguarding our vulnerable aging population, staying abreast of every new emergence and variant, and keeping clinicians safe at a time when the virus is still wreaking havoc on professionals, patients, and their families.
Long COVID: A Reality for Millions
The Administration for Community living warns that COVID-19 is not “just the flu.” This assertion gains more weight with the revelation that between 7.7 million and 23 million Americans are grappling with Long COVID. The long-term impacts of the virus are not limited by age, gender, or virtually any other factor. Approximately 1 million individuals have been removed from the workforce due to long COVID. The financial impact of these lost salaries is a staggering $50 billion annually. As caregivers, friends, and family members, we cannot ignore the continued reality of COVID-19’s reach and its lasting repercussions on society.
A Renewed Commitment: HHS's Office of Long COVID Research and Practice
Recognizing the magnitude of the situation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been proactive. A year ago, they collaborated with federal counterparts to craft an action plan tailored for Long COVID. Last week, that commitment was solidified with the launch of the Office of Long COVID Research and Practice. This institution will fortify the ongoing government-wide response to Long COVID, steering the course to a clearer understanding and more robust support mechanism for those affected.
For many, the journey post-COVID diagnosis is full of medical and logistical uncertainties. The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) launched in 2021 to assist disabled individuals in receiving COVID-19 vaccinations and its scope has since broadened. From housing to transportation, and disability rights to direct assistance, DIAL bridges the gap between need and support and helps to alleviate some of those uncertainties.
Efficiency coupled with empathy, DIAL's trained professionals are equipped to cater to diverse communication needs, ensuring that no call for help goes unanswered.
How to access this lifeline?
©2023 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Healthcare at Home: The Rowan Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. firstname.lastname@example.org