Long Term Care Facilities and Coronavirus
How concerned should I be about a loved one living in a long term care facility?
Residents living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, independent living facilities and continuing care facilities are all at relatively high risk for contracting COVID-19. The reasons are that the individuals are living in relatively close quarters, are advanced in age, and often have underlying health issues. Furthermore, many of these facilities lack the capacity to test all of their residents and to provide their staff with proper protective equipment. As a result, long-term care facilities may lack the information, supplies, and physical space to keep all of their staff and residents safe.
What should nursing homes be doing to protect their residents during this pandemic?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended the following precautions for nursing homes and other long-term care facilities:
Restrict visitation except for extenuating circumstances such as end of life care.
Restrict volunteers and non-essential personnel.
Cancel group activities and communal dining.
Actively screen residents and health care personnel for fever and respiratory symptoms.
How can I know what is happening in my parent’s nursing home if I can’t visit?
Minimizing visitors to nursing homes is being enforced in order to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. But this doesn’t mean an end to your communication. It is important that you remain in touch through phone calls, emailing and video chat applications such as Skype and Zoom.
You should follow any newsletters or updates provided by the long term care facility. If you are not receiving regular communications from them, or have additional questions or concerns, you should contact the administrators.
If something doesn’t seem right, or your family member appears to be sick, you have the right to seek answers. Document everything to the best of your ability, including any changes you notice in your loved one’s health and behavior, as well as all communication you have with nursing home staff.
Should my parent contract coronavirus while in their long term care facility, what are my legal rights?
It is difficult to say as elderly people are more susceptible to infections. The important issues will be whether the facility was following proper policies, procedures, and regulations. As each case is unique, the nursing home abuse attorneys at Munley Law are available to discuss your specific questions and concerns.
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