AARP calling on all nursing homes to require employees to get vaccinated

Tracking Coronavirus

RAYMORE, Mo. — Noting low vaccination rates among employees in nursing homes, the AARP is calling on facilities to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for all workers.

Ernest Kutzley, advocacy director for AARP Kansas, said the organization hopes to see all nursing homes requiring the vaccine.

“That’s what we’re asking them to require. We know that it’s their responsibility to provide quality care for nursing home residents and staff,” he said.

Kutzley points to the vaccination rates among nursing home employees from the AARP’s COVID dashboard.

It shows that 56% of Kansas nursing home staff is fully vaccinated, and in Missouri, 46.8% of staff are vaccinated. The only state with a lower vaccination rate in the demographic is Louisiana.

Some senior service providers are looking to change that.

At Foxwood Springs Senior Living in Raymore, Missouri, the facility’s parent company will require all workers to be at least partially vaccinated by Sept. 15.

In a statement, ER Senior Management CEO Brian Dowd said: “Our decision to mandate the vaccine for our team members came with multiple factors in mind: first and foremost, prioritizing the safety and well-being of our residents and our team members, who are considered family.”

The AARP wants pressure on other facilities to do the same.

“And if you’re a family member we encourage you to contact the facility. Ask them what their vaccination rates are, ask them what their plans are in case there is an issue with a loved one, and stay on top of the things that are happening at the facility,” Kutzley said.

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