The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly devastating on nursing home populations throughout the United States. If your loved one is in a nursing home, you likely have many questions about their safety. Here, we want to answer some of the most commonly asked questions related to nursing homes and the coronavirus. If you have additional questions or concerns, speak with an Anaheim nursing home abuse attorney to learn more.
Why Are Nursing Homes So Vulnerable To COVID-19?
According to data from the CDC, people aged 65 and older are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill or dying due to COVID-19. In addition to this age bracket, those with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, respiratory illnesses, diabetes, and kidney disease are also more likely to become seriously ill or die due to the disease. Unfortunately, nursing home residents often fit these categories.
Along with a higher risk population, nursing home residents live in close proximity with one another and regularly interact with staff. This makes it much easier for the virus to spread. Couple these hazards with a lack of personal protective equipment, and this could be a recipe for
What Is Being Done To Protect Nursing Home Residents In This State?
Both the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the CDC have issued guidelines to nursing homes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes:
Strictly limiting visitation
Suspending group activities and communal dining
Screening residents every day for fever and other COVID-19 symptoms
Screening anyone entering the nursing home facility for symptoms of COVID-19
Requiring all nursing home staff to wear masks and other personal protective equipment
If COVID-19 has been identified at a nursing home, federal agencies strongly urge the facility to restrict residents to their rooms and have every staff member wear full personal protective equipment. Those who have confirmed COVID-19 cases should be treated in designated areas away from other residents.
Should You Bring Your Loved One Home?
Every situation is different, and the best option may be family members to bring their loved one home somebody in their household is capable of caring for them. However, if there is a risk of your loved one contracting COVID-19 at your home, perhaps because somebody in the household works in a high-risk industry, this might not be the best option. Please weigh the pros and cons of bringing your loved one home from a nursing home before making a decision to do so, and only do this if it is safe for everybody involved.
What Should You Do If A Nursing Home Is Not Following CDC Guidelines?
If you suspect the nursing home where your loved one resides is not following CDC guidelines, you should consider notifying the California Department of Public Health. If necessary, you should contact a nursing home abuse attorney to advise you of your legal rights and your options moving forward to protect your loved one.
Can You File A Lawsuit Against A Nursing Home For Negligent COVID-19 Management?
Nursing homes are required to take reasonable steps to protect their residents from contracting COVID-19. This includes following traditional infection control guidelines as well as any new guidelines laid forth by the CDC and the CMS. Any nursing home facility that fails to follow appropriate guidelines in place to slow or stop the spread of coronavirus may be guilty of negligence, and could possibly be held liable through civil lawsuits.