Nursing homes guard against illness - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Nursing homes guard against illness

Albany -- A flu outbreak is a nursing home or assisted living center's worst fear. That's why they are so tightly regulated, to assure families that their loved ones will be properly cared for, and protected.

"Hey there, you want to come sit with us?" Health infections like the flu are serious problems that every nursing home and assisted living center has to fight.

Morningside Assisted Living in Albany keep a close eye, to isolate the sickness. Executive Director Marlene Godwin said "If it's a cold, or the flu, or a virus, we offer one on one room service to that person. "

The 64 residents at Morningside are monitored for health problems. They know a virus can rampantly move through a group of 80 and 90 year olds.

The biggest worry is workers or visitors bringing a virus in. "Godwin said "We also encourage the staff, very strongly, to take a flu vaccine."

Nursing homes and assisted living centers try to instill the simple measures that can keep germs and virus under control. Program Director Joan-Marie Barcus said "Like cover your mouth when you sneeze or you cough, and again washing those hands again after you do that, that is very important."

The centers try to keep the residents busy and socially active, to aid their health. Barcus said "intellectually, spiritually, socially, and emotionally. And all of that helps a person to be a better person physically."

 But that togetherness can also be dangerous if an illness invades a nursing home environment. That's why workers train to spot something like the flu at it's earliest, before it turns deadly.

 Marlene Godwin says Morningside continually educates their staff and residents on better health care, to protect themselves.

posted by jimw@walb.com

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