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COVID-19 has affected every aspect of the health care system, and that includes caregivers, whose normal support systems have been buckled by the pandemic.

American Heart Association News: Caregiving Is Never Easy, and COVID-19 Has Made It Harder

THURSDAY, May 7, 2020 (American Heart Association News) -- Melia Wilkinson cares for her husband, Kerry, who in 2014 had a massive stroke.

Today, the 57-year-old has no use of his left hand, limited use of his left leg, and relies on a cane to get around the house. Kerry can do many things on his own, Melia said, but she helps him with daily activities, such as dressing, and manages his medical care.

While caregiving has always been challenging, the era of COVID-19 is fraught with new anxiety."We have nobody," she said. "I worry if I get COVID, there isn't a person who could step in."

The couple and their teenage daughter live near Seattle in King County, Washington, an early U.S. coronavirus hotbed, and far from relatives. Since the virus appeared, Melia has discontinued housekeeping help, and social distancing has put their small network of friends and ex-colleagues out of reach.

Normal support systems have buckled, said clinical psychologist and health care consultant Barry J. Jacobs. For loved ones who need help at home, longtime health aides may now be unavailable. Or families might be torn between allowing outside aides to continue care, risking coronavirus exposure, versus taking over that care – or letting the care gap go unfilled.

Read the full American Heart Association News story.


Watch our latest HD Live! as we take a look at Philly Fighting Covid, a nonprofit organization run by graduate students from Drexel University that aims to help with mass COVID-19 vaccination in Philadelphia.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Andrei Doroshin, founder of Philly Fighting Covid.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

HD Live! Videos

Watch our latest HD Live! as we take a deep dive into the vaccine rollout across the country.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and a member of the Biden COVID-19 Advisory Board.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! is a conference wrap-up of the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2020.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, American Heart Association President-Elect, for a summary of the highlights of the AHA Scientific Sessions 2020.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is on how healthcare in America could be impacted by a Trump or Biden victory.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of the Center for Health and Research Transformation at the University of Michigan, and Brian Blase, who served as a healthcare adviser to President Trump from 2017-2019 and is now president and CEO of Blase Policy Strategies.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is an overview of IDWeek, the annual meeting of leading infectious disease experts worldwide.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Inger Damon and Dr. Tom Talbot, IDWeek Chairs, for a summary of the latest data on a range of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is an overview of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) national conference and exhibition.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with AAP's Dr. Elizabeth Murray on the key takeaways of the event.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is on what could happen this flu season as COVID-19 still rages on across the country. How can we protect ourselves, and what can we and the health care system do to prepare for and potentially prevent a twindemic?

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Nadia Eltaki, director of clinical operations at Sibley Memorial Hospital, on guidance on how to protect yourself and how a twindemic could impact the health care system.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is on loneliness and social isolation and how they can affect mental health. Plus, learn more about the survey we conducted with The Harris Poll on Americans and their use and knowledge of face masks and COVID-19.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Carla Perissinotto, a geriatrician and the associate chief for geriatrics clinical programs at UCSF, on advice on how to better care for seniors who might be more vulnerable to social isolation, and Kathy Steinberg, vice president of public release research at The Harris Poll, on the results of the HealthDay/The Harris Poll survey.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is on the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine and how the United States would need to prepare for a mass vaccination program.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Amesh Adalja from the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Kelly Moore from Vanderbilt School of Medicine and associate director for immunization education with the Immunization Action Coalition.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.