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As we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to acknowledge some of the added risk posed to the 4 million Americans currently living in nursing homes. Elderly individuals already face an increased risk of suffering a severe case of COVID-19, and lack of isolation afforded by nursing homes creates a situation that allows the virus to spread more easily.
For this reason, it’s crucial that you monitor the care of your loved one very closely during this crisis. The following tips will help you make sure the nursing home is doing their part to keep your loved one safe and healthy.
Research the Ratings of the Nursing Home
You should research the sanitation and staffing ratings for the nursing home caring for your loved one. A poor sanitation rating is a clear red flag that your loved one may face increased risk of exposure. A poor staffing rating is a more subtle identifier of a problem. When nursing homes are understaffed, it may result in staff members hurrying, and this may impact how diligently they wash hands between resident checkups.
You can find these ratings using Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare Tool. It provides information on every facility in the country which has been certified by Medicare and Medicaid.
Visit Often, If Allowed
If you’re currently allowed to visit the nursing home, make sure you go there as often as you can. Check the frequency of handwashing and other sanitation practices. Closely observe the health of your loved one and follow up with staff immediately if your loved one appears to be sick. Ask the staff if anyone at the facility has tested positive for COVID-19 and if so, what steps have been taken to ensure all infected individuals have been properly quarantined.
If the nursing home is currently prohibiting visits to curb exposure to COVID-19, then you should call the facility on a regular basis to inquire about your loved one’s health and the steps being taken to ensure sanitary conditions.
Develop a Plan
Ask the facility about their strategy to handle a COVID-19 outbreak. Their plan should include a quarantine strategy and having enough supplies on-hand to care for sick residents.
You should also have a plan in place in case your loved one gets sick. The first thing to do is to check with your loved one’s primary care doctor. You also can ask the nursing home to place your loved one in a hospital if they need treatment. If the facility won’t assist in getting your loved one to the hospital, you can call an ambulance and arrange for hospital admittance yourself.
Speak to Our Lawyers
The attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter are here to help protect the rights of your loved one. If the nursing home acted negligently and it resulted in a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility, we can help you file a nursing home neglect lawsuit to hold all negligent parties accountable for any illness your loved one suffered as a result of their actions.
Please contact Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter using the form on this page or call 407-712-7300 today to schedule a complimentary consultation. We serve clients in Orlando and the surrounding areas of Florida.