June 4, 2021

To Keep Their Son Alive, They Sleep in Shifts. And Hope a Nurse Shows Up.

By Brittainy Newman Ted Alcorn

1,943 words

A nursing shortage — driven by the pandemic — has made life miserable for parents with profoundly disabled children. “What if I’m so exhausted that I make a mistake?”

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Refreshed on June 19, 2021 at 7:49:49 am

Headlines and popularity

  1. To Keep Their Son Alive, They Sleep in Shifts. And Hope a Nurse Shows Up.
  2. To Keep Their Son Alive, They Sleep in Shifts and Hope a Nurse Comes
  3. To keep their son alive, these parents sleep in shifts and hope a nurse shows up.
  4. To Keep Their Son Alive, They Sleep in Shifts and Hope a Nurse Shows Up

Revisions

June 19, 2021 at 7:49 am CHANGED
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  Ordinarily, she wouldn’t be by herself. Since infancy, Henry, who has spinal muscular atrophy, a rare muscle-wasting disorder, has had intensive, round-the-clock nursing at home, with Ms. Mead and her husband serving as fallbacks when a nurse unexpectedly cancels a shift.
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  But the recent shortage of home-care nurses has forced the couple, who live in Queens, to handle longer and longer periods on their own — as many as 36 hours at a stretch. That morning, her husband, Andy Maskin, was catching up on sleep so he could take that night’s late shift, from 2 a.m. until 7 a.m., when he begins his own workweek.
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- About 4.5 million Americans with illnesses and disabilities are cared for at home by aides, therapists or nurses. Most of these patients are older, but hundreds of thousands are children with complex health needs, and that number that has climbed upward as medical advances allow more to survive into adulthood.
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+ About 4.5 million Americans with illnesses and disabilities are cared for at home by aides, therapists or nurses. Most of these patients are older, but hundreds of thousands are children with complex health needs, a number that has climbed upward as medical advances allow more to survive into adulthood.
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  The families of these children have long struggled to find skilled help, but many say Covid-19 has made an already untenable situation even worse. Nurses left the work force to care for their own out-of-school children, or abandoned the profession permanently. And the surging demand for personnel at hospitals, testing sites and vaccination centers drew nurses away with as much as double the wages they earn caring for patients at home.
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  The easing of the pandemic may not improve conditions much. The shortage of nurses is longstanding and in the wake of a public health crisis that prompted 29 percent of health care workers to consider leaving the profession, many expect a wave of retirements.

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Headlines

  • To Keep Their Son Alive, They Sleep in Shifts. And Hope a Nurse Shows Up.
  • To Keep Their Son Alive, They Sleep in Shifts and Hope a Nurse Comes
  • To keep their son alive, these parents sleep in shifts and hope a nurse shows up.
  • To Keep Their Son Alive, They Sleep in Shifts and Hope a Nurse Shows Up

Tags

  • Children and Childhood
  • Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
  • Disabilities
  • Families and Family Life
  • Home Health Care
  • Medicaid
  • Nursing and Nurses
  • Parenting
  • Shortages