Video: US nursing home staff face heightened stress and grief during COVID-19

Ebony Lucas, MSF Staff Wellness Officer (right), and Doris Portis (left), Director of HR at Advantage Living Center in Roseville, Michigan, set up a resource board for the facility staff.
United States 2020 © Ali Lapetina
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The impact of COVID-19 on nursing homes in the United States has taken a significant toll on the dedicated staff who work in these facilities.

“We were overworked, trying to do all the right things, trying to care for these residents to the best of your ability with the little strength you had at that time,” says Adelia Patterson, wellness and life enrichment director at Focused Care at Beechnut nursing home in Houston, Texas.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have provided training and support for overwhelmed nursing home staff in the US during a time of acute emotional stress. Tiffany Bell, who works at a long-term care facility in Roseville, Michigan, says, “Even after COVID, we're going to need some type of therapy or counseling because it just has done so much damage to us emotionally.” MSF has provided mental health support and training to more than 80 long-term care facilities in the US this year in response to the pandemic.