North Central College in the News
North Central College occupational therapy professor quoted in The 19th
Sep 10, 2021
Meegan Lambert details the pandemic’s strain on nursing homes
Nursing homes were closing before the pandemic: more than 550 from June 2015 to June 2019, more shuttering each year than the previous one, affected by staffing shortages, high costs and a decline in occupancy.
But the coronavirus pandemic has hit nursing homes particularly hard, killing more than 186,000 residents and staff and pushing the industry into what experts have warned is its “worst financial crisis in history.” Now, only one in four of the country’s 15,600 nursing homes is confident it can survive the coming months, according to a recent survey.
Meegan Lambert, assistant professor of occupational therapy at North Central College, interviewed with The 19th, where she emphasized the need for a major shift in how Americans plan — or don’t plan —for aging and any complications that entails.
“People don’t realize all that goes into the day-to-day care,” Lambert said, noting that a typical nursing home has a dietary staff to prepare three hot meals daily, nurses to administer medications throughout the day and others to facilitate social activities. “One or two family members might have to do what it takes a whole village to do. They can quickly become burnt out with trying to meet the emotional, social and physical needs of their loved one.”