Italian nursing homes are struggling to survive after Covid-19

Italian nursing homes are struggling to survive after Covid-19 0
Italian nursing homes are struggling to survive after Covid-19 0

As the cost of maintaining facilities escalates because of the pandemic and restrictions on admitting more elderly people in many areas, including Lombardy, the epicenter of the Italian epidemic, nursing home operators say many facilities

`By October, if we are not allowed to fill empty beds or are not given financial support for the extraordinary costs we have incurred, we will be forced to file for bankruptcy,` Walter Montini

Montini said instead of accepting new seniors, they were forced to send the old residents home from the nursing home.

Covid-19 has caused heavy damage to Italian nursing homes since the outbreak in Lombardy at the end of February. Many nursing homes have been asked to accept people infected with nCoV to reduce hospital overload in the area.

`We are under a lot of pressure from the Lombardy regional government to accept Covid-19 patients. We are really concerned,` said Mariuccia Rossini, president of the association in Agespi, Lombardy region.

Residents at a nursing home in Capralba, Cremona, Lombardy region, Italy, on May 22.

Although exact data is not yet available due to testing issues, a survey conducted by the Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Italy’s leading health institute, of 577 nursing homes found out of 3,859 deaths in February

With one of the oldest populations in Europe, Italy relies heavily on nursing homes to help families deal with elder care.

Local resident Diego Lorenzi said his 88-year-old mother, who has severe dementia, has been on the waiting list for the past year.

The crisis with nursing homes could have a major economic impact, as the industry employs about 185,000 people and generates annual revenue of about 13 billion euros ($14.16 billion).

In addition to nursing homes with nCoV cases, many other facilities are also in crisis because they have been banned from accepting new elderly people since the outbreak of Covid-19 and they have had to blockade to protect vulnerable residents.

Discussions with regional authorities are under way to try to resolve the crisis and allow nursing homes to admit new residents once safety is assured.

Franco Massi, president of Uneba, a national association representing about 1,000 nursing homes, said widespread testing, increased staffing, and protective and treatment equipment must be ensured.

`This will cost more and will require adequate budgeting,` Massi said.

If the nursing home problem is not resolved, Italy could face a new social care crisis, in addition to the health care problems caused by Covid-19.

Covid-19 has appeared in more than 210 countries and territories, causing more than 5.5 million infections and nearly 348,000 deaths.

Ngoc Anh (According to Reuters)

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