For seniors recovering from the coronavirus, home health care aides have provided another way to care for at risk adults that might otherwise need to be in a nursing home or adult care facility.

Both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill De Blasio have called for an increase in home care to help keep seniors out of the hospital and even help slow the spread of the virus in nursing homes.

What You Need To Know

o   Home health aides need more support.

o   Older New Yorkers are especially vulnerable to COVID.

o   Home health aides themselves have also died.

o   Home health aides’s work can help free up needed hospital space.

“If I were advising a friend, I would say: You have a vulnerable person. Best to keep them at home and not put them in a congregate facility,” Cuomo said during an interview on MSNBC. “Keep them in a situation where you have the most control and that is the blunt truth.”

But home health care aides have not been left untouched by the virus.

A survey of six home care agencies showed that 780 home health care aides caught COVID-19 and 33 home aides have died.

However, these six agencies were also able to take care of 20,000 at risk adults during the past few months, keeping them home and out of the hospital system.

“By discharging them from the hospital, back home and skipping the step of the nursing home or rehab has really saved, I think, countless lives,” siad Michael Arnella, RN, the director of Clinical Services at Accent Care.

Arnella continued, “And then with the hospitals around 80% COVID at one point, having these other patients go in with DHS, DOPD, diabetes, would overwhelm the system. Home care plays a vital role in any type of emergency situation.”

By Morgan McKayNew York State
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