“Research shows us that the holidays are an emotionally challenging time for those residing in shared living facilities – a reality exacerbated by months of social distancing and limited interaction with loved ones,” said Maureen Corcoran, director of Ohio Medicaid.
“We also know that depression can accelerate physical deterioration – this initiative gets to the heart of the matter by offering consistent, caring, and highly interpersonal connections that are needed now and throughout the holidays ahead.”
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation report found a notable increase in the rate of depression among facility residents due to the pandemic. One in four adults ages 65 and older (24%) reported anxiety or depression in August (a rate that has 2 been relatively constant since March). By comparison, the same study conducted in 2018 found that roughly 10% of this group reported anxiety or depression.
Any nursing or assisted living facility with a minimum of 50 residents receiving services through an Ohio Medicaid managed care programs can participate in the program.
The department said more COVID-19 prevention and intervention strategies will be introduced shortly and follows initiatives already underway, such as vaccine clinics to catch kids up who fell behind on immunizations during the pandemic.