December 15, 2021 – The COVID-19 pandemic has been a devastating time for nursing home residents and their loved ones. To better understand their experiences, the Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC) produced an oral history of COVID-19 in long-term care settings.
In this project, ‘I Feel Like I’m in Prison’: An Oral History of COVID-19 in Nursing Homes, you will hear from residents, family members, ombudsmen, legislators, and advocates from across the United States. Go to nursinghome411.org/oral-history to listen to selected soundbites (transcribed) and full interviews for all 17 participants.
Interviews were conducted in the months following the COVID-19 vaccine rollout (April through August 2021). LTCCC asked participants about the impact of COVID-19, visitation restrictions, policy recommendations, and more. Several themes emerged, including:
- Isolation: The physical and psychological toll of lockdowns.
- Infantilization: A loss of dignity and autonomy.
- Inequality: Ageism, racism, sexism, and classism shaping the long-term care system.
- Exposure: Longstanding issues (i.e., staffing) brought to light by the pandemic.
- Tech Transition: The pros and cons of increased dependence on technology in nursing homes.
We hope that this project will amplify the voices of those who have been silenced in the past two years. As we look to the future of long-term care, we must preserve the stories that shaped its past.
Listen to interviews and soundbites at nursinghome411.org/oral-history.
“Thanksgiving Day was the first time I’ve seen them in a year. I had to touch my mom’s hand through a glove and they um… it was really hard because she hasn’t seen me since my husband’s death in July. And it was really touching because you don’t realize how much you miss someone until you see them.” -Amy Mulhearn, Resident