Over the course of the pandemic, more than 160,000 nursing home and long-term care facility residents and staff have died from COVID-19, representing roughly a third of total deaths in the country. In response, policymakers and federal and state agency officials rushed to put in place emergency guidance and waivers to enhance access to care in the home in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus. These policy changes catalyzed a long overdue shift toward home- and community-based care.
It’s time for us to continue in this direction and enable individuals to receive care in their setting of choice, particularly older and frail adults and individuals suffering from chronic conditions who can be safely cared for in their homes. Indeed, according to the AARP, most individuals prefer to receive care in their home and that number has only increased as a result of COVID-19.
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