Mississippi Today: Head of UM Applied Gerontology Department Discusses COVID-19 Impact on Nursing Homes

“Mississippi officials target nursing homes, where coronavirus spread creates a perfect storm”

By Erica Hensley/Mississippi Today

VAIDEN — Relief was the first emotion that overcame Carla when she received a letter that an employee at her sister’s Mississippi nursing home tested positive for COVID-19.

Her initial response, although unusual given the circumstances, was justified. For weeks, she’d been in the dark regarding conditions inside her sister’s facility. The letter said that just a single case was identified and the employee immediately isolated outside of the facility.


Teresa Carithers, head of the Applied Gerontology department at the University of Mississippi, says the pandemic has spawned innovation and hopes it will set a new bar for aging care. The program she leads focuses on helping students look at the science of aging through a different lens — less so, how to simply care for old folks and more, how to age healthily throughout life and focus on quality of life.

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