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How Are Seniors Coping With Challenges Of The Pandemic?

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Associated Press
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From the beginning, experts said that the elderly would be among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. 

To date, of the nearly 450 COVID-related deaths in Nevada, 84 percent were in the 60-and-up age range. And more than 25 percent of all COVID-related deaths in the state have happened in nursing homes and assisted care facilities. 

For those seniors battling or dodging the virus, it has often meant fear and isolation. The governor warned against visiting elderly parents. Up until recently, hospitals banned all visitors. 

While that isolation can protect against the virus, the dearth of contact can mean the lack of vital mental stimulation, said Dr. Kelley Macmillan, director of community and social services for the Sanford Center for Aging at the University of Nevada, Reno.

“Folks who have a cognitive impairment and are socially engaged and physically active, it helps to mitigate to some of the impacts of cognitive impairment,” Macmillan told State of Nevada.

Macmillan said many families are making use of teleconferencing or old-fashioned phone calls to keep older relatives engaged.

To assist seniors and those carrying for them, Clark County has produced a directory of resources and links to pandemic information.

The AARP created a Web page with COVID-19 food assistance information, and  Nevada Public Radio has a resource page as well.

 

 

Dr. Michael Johnson, Director of Community Health, Southern Nevada Health District;  Jennifer Williams-Woods, Long Term Care Ombudsman, Aging and Disability Services Division of Nevada Department of Health & Human Services;  Scott Gulbransen, State Director of Communications, AARP Nevada; Jeff Duncan, Social Services Chief II, Aging & Disability Services Division of Nevada Department of Health & Human Services;  Randy Reinoso, Assistant Director, Clark County Social Service;  Dr. Kelley Macmillan, director of community and social services for the Sanford Center for Aging at the University of Nevada, Reno.

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Mike has been a producer for State of Nevada since 2019. He produces — and occasionally hosts — segments covering entertainment, gaming & tourism, sports, health, Nevada’s marijuana industry, and other areas of Nevada life.