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Long COVID, an often debilitating condition, has left doctors scrambling to find treatments and diagnostic tools. The problem is even more complicated for residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, many of whom are already experiencing a health decline.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that patients who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 struggled with cognitive issues and were more dependent on the staff for an average of 9 months after infection.

"Lasting effects might not be as noticeable with patients in nursing homes—a lot of them have impaired baseline function," said Sophie Clark, MD, geriatrician and assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, and the first author of the study. "It's hard because some of these patients are not able to report symptoms as well as younger, healthier patients. If something is going on in a young person, it's clearer. In an older population, the picture is muddier."

Clark and her team observed 171 residents at two facilities in Michigan. About half had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 between March 2020 and October 2021; the rest did not contract the virus.

Researchers measured the level of assistance patients needed for tasks like dressing and bathing, along with their performance on cognitive tests, and compared the results to their pre-pandemic baseline. Head over to Medscape to read the full story.