Coronavirus Can Be Deadly For Seniors
Seniors In Care Facilities Are Especially At Risk
What Loved Ones Can Do
The coronavirus (COVID-19) poses an especially deadly threat to nursing home and assisted care facility residents. COVID-19 outbreaks throughout Europe and the United States have swept through care facilities infecting and killing large numbers of residents; nursing home residents account for one in four COVID-19 deaths in New York City alone, according to news reports. Nursing homes are largely now on lockdowns and visitors are prohibited. More and more staff are staying home to protect themselves or because their children are now home due to school closures. Understaffing compounds the risks for residents who may be neglected as a result.
After weeks of warning Californians about the deadly threat the coronavirus poses to nursing home residents, a March 30, 2020 directive from the California Department of Public Health to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) states: “SNFs shall not refuse to admit or readmit a resident based on their status as a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case.” Advocacy groups worry that the directive heightens resident risks and have suggested alternatives like redirection of infected patients to hotels or conference centers as safer places.
Whatever the future holds for regulations, one thing is certain: COVID-19 will be present among the population for some time to come, and the elderly, wherever they are, will remain at greatest risk So here are some ideas for what you can do in the meantime if your senior loved one is in a home.
What Loved Ones Can Do
• If you are considering bringing a senior home, think about whether you have the knowledge, skills, experience and ability to give them adequate medical care, particularly if they are coming from a nursing home where they have been receiving constant care. Bringing them home could be detrimental if you don’t have the knowledge and skills about pressure ulcers/bed sores, infection, hydration, nutrition, and other critical daily care considerations.
• Stay in touch remotely by phone, Skype or FaceTime. Residents always love to hear from you and, if they have the technology available, would especially love to see their grandchildren and
• Install a Granny Cam. In-room cameras are permitted in California and the home administrator can explain the steps you need to take to install one. It will let you keep a constant eye on the in-room care your loved one is – or is not – receiving.
• Review the facility’s infection plan. Every such facility is required to have one. Especially if no one at a facility is yet sick, it’s a good idea to review plans for what may wind up to be a worst-case scenario.
• Assume COVID-19 is already present. Given that symptoms from the virus may not show up for two weeks or more from the time of exposure, it’s fair to assume that every facility in the United States has already been exposed.
• If you’re allowed to do visit, take appropriate precautions, for your sake and theirs. Wear gloves and a mask, and avoid being in close contact with anyone, if possible.
If you or a loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect from a caregiver or while residing in a nursing home or other care facility in San Francisco or Alameda County or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other nursing home abuse attorneys at the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.