News Release, Alzheimer’s Association

June 4, 2020—Leaders in Maryland’s long-term care industry will hold a virtual public conversation on the effects of COVID-19 on their facilities on June 9, 2020, from 11 a.m.-12 noon. The Alzheimer’s Association Greater Maryland and National Capital chapters will host this event. Participants must register at bit.ly/COVIDLTC.

“This event presents a forum for long-term care industry leaders to tell their story of the COVID-19 epidemic, addressing what was learned, challenges, proactive efforts and needs going forward,” says Cass Naugle, executive director of the Greater Maryland Chapter who is a speaker.  “We encourage family caregivers and long-term care service providers to participate in this illuminating discussion.”

Other speakers include Alison Ciborowski, president and CEO, LeadingAgeMaryland; Joe DeMattos, president, Health Facilities Association of Maryland; and Kevin Heffner, president, LifeSpan Network. Presenters will tell how their members organizations are handling the unprecedented pandemic and their responses. The conversation will also include the status of testing, personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff, reporting, surge capacity, preparation for future infections, and the actions needed to support staff, facility residents and family caregivers.

To date, federal reports estimate that nationally 25,000 LTC residents and 400 staff members have died from the coronavirus. Forty-eight percent of LTC residents have Alzheimer’s or other dementia. The Maryland Office of Health Care Quality lists 227 nursing homes with 27,766 beds and 1,630 assisted living facilities with 2,4916 beds.  The Governor’s Office lists 324 LTC staff contracting the coronavirus with 18 resulting in death. There are 6,697 LTC residents who have contracted the coronavirus resulting in 1,368 deaths. As of June 3, 2020, 2,519 Marylanders have died with more than half occurring at LTC facilities.

In a Vox magazine interview Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge stated, “The United States has under-invested in services for older adults for many years. We lack a robust continuum of services that are adequately funded and that offer older adults supports to age well in all types of communities. The lack of comprehensive planning has meant that providers across the continuum have been forced to use precious staff time and resources scrounging for PPEs for frontline workers and those they serve. The lack of comprehensive planning has resulted in a patchwork of approaches to testing resource distribution.”