Loneliness, isolation, depression, anxiety and other mental health crises have infiltrated nursing homes long before the March lockdown and peak of COVID-19 in Illinois, but the pandemic has only heightened those feelings among staff and residents. While the pandemic has been hard overall, the strict parameters limiting social activities, interactions and the disruption of normal routines pose the risk of a mental health pandemic that could be spreading even faster. This episode takes a deeper dive into the effects of COVID-19 on nursing home facilities, staff and residents with the current social distancing guidelines in place.
Reporter Briana Higgins is a recent graduate from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, where she studied Broadcast Journalism. Some of her accomplishments are reporting and producing for the school’s student television network, reporting and directing for WTIU and studying HIV/AIDS in Uganda. As a perfectionist, she strives for great storytelling across all mediums including radio, print, videography, photography, documentary and podcast. She’s focused on telling unique stories on all issues and Hope from the Frontlines was the opportunity to do just that. If she’s not reporting or storytelling, she’s finding other ways to explore her creative energy and watching content on Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+.