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The plight of nursing home residents in a pandemic

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For anyone living in a nursing home or other long-term or assisted-living facility, these are particularly difficult times. I’ve heard more than one resident complain bitterly about feeling trapped in their rooms, having meals left outside their door (rather than gathering in the dining room with friends), and not being allowed to participate in their routine activities or have visitors. “They’re treating me like a prisoner,” said one resident I know. Yes, for many, it’s feeling more like a prison than the place they knew as home before the pandemic. And yet there are good reasons for all the restrictions. A recent analysis shows that residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities account for 42% of all COVID-19 deaths in the US. In more than a dozen states, over half of deaths were among nursing home residents. West Virginia (80%), Minnesota (80%), and Rhode Island (73%) had the highest rates. Unfortunately, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities offer the p

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