Ask Questions and Do Your Part to Ensure the Safety of Your Loved Ones in Nursing Home Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Nursing homes and long term care facilities house and care for our most vulnerable population. The decision to place your loved one in one of these facilities is never easy and the COVID-19 pandemic is making it even more difficult and scary. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have released detailed COVID guidelines for nursing homes and long-term care facilities all of which can be found here.
Unfortunately, many nursing homes are already understaffed and poorly managed. Under normal circumstances this can lead to instances of abuse and neglect. Now that these facilities are being faced with COVID-19 outbreaks and stricter guidelines, there is even more room for error.
In order to ensure your loved ones are safe in their nursing home or long term care facility throughout the pandemic you need to ask questions and do your part.
Ask facility management what extra precautions they are taking. According to the CDC they should have control measures and plans in place to deal with infected patients and staff. For more detail, see The CDC COVID-19 Preparedness Checklist for Nursing Homes.
Do your part. Many facilities are not allowing visitors at all. If you are allowed to visit your loved one, make sure that you follow the below guidelines.
- Wear a mask.
- Use hand sanitizer.
- Respect social distancing guidelines (no shaking hands or hugging, and remain at least 6 feet apart).
- Do not visit if you have been exposed to someone who is infected.
- Most importantly, if you exhibit any symptoms or are not feeling well, do not visit.
If you are concerned about a nursing home or long term care facility’s response to COVID-19 you should first address your concerns with the facility. If the facility is not responsive, reach out to your state’s long-term care ombudsman or health department. If your loved one has been seriously injured or has died due to negligence you should contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney.