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CoronavirusCOVID-19Elder Abuse

Nursing Homes in a Pandemic

By Walton Law APCOctober 3, 2020March 4th, 2023No Comments

A nursing home is a private institution that provides a range of accommodations for elderly people and others in need of support. The CDC has found the risk of illness from COVID-19 increases greatly with age. Older adults with underlying health issues that contract the disease may face additional hospitalization, ventilators, intensive care, and even death. Due to the current global pandemic, it is no surprise nursing homes have been hit extremely hard by the respiratory virus.

Nursing Home Care During COVID-19

Many nursing homes have closed their doors to any visitors, so it is difficult to know what is truly going on in these facilities. Although not every coronavirus-death can be prevented, it is important nursing homes take the follow measures to protect their residents:

  1. Keep a clean facility – Nursing homes must maintain a safe and clean environment for all residents. The guidelines they receive to maintain such an environment should have already been in place before COVID-19 hit. If a patient is diagnosed with COVID-19, they must follow specific guidelines to ensure safety for the infected resident, along with all the other residents and workers in the facility. Keeping everything disinfected can help avoid an internal outbreak from occurring within any individual facility.
  2. Have appropriate medical personnel – Nursing homes should have experienced staff members who are qualified to treat patients. Because of COVID-19, some nursing homes have lost vital staff members, which has left them vulnerable to a wide variety of problems that results from being understaffed or hiring under experienced personnel.
  3. Have emergency care ready for any resident that needs it – All nursing homes should have the proper equipment to help their residents with any medical issue, including COVID-19. This includes Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Negligence at Nursing Homes During COVID-19

If nursing homes do not have the proper care during this time, other problems are likely to arise. Some of these problems include:

  • Mental and emotional health problems – With the lack of visitation and understaffed facilities, residents can find themselves feeling depressed and anxious.
  • Proper attention – If residents are not seen as often by staff members due to being understaffed, they could develop bedsores, fall when assistance was needed, or contract other infections that could lead to further medical problems, and ultimately accelerate their death.
  • Improper treatment – With the stress of COVID-19, some staff members have begun to treat infected residents and/or residents in general with little respect and a decreased level of healthcare. Verbal and emotional abuse from overworked and impatient staff can be debilitating.
  • No knowledge of medication – With a much higher turnover rate of staff members at nursing homes during the pandemic, many new staff members have a hard time keeping track of individual patient medication(s) nor do they understand any dietary needs the residents may have.

If your nursing home does not provide adequate service and has seemed negligent in one or more of the areas above, the nursing home could ultimately be held responsible for a COVID-19 related death or other injuries.

Call Us Now to Help Your Loved One in Need

If you believe the negligence of a nursing home or staff member caused your loved one to become injured or die while in the nursing home’s care, call California nursing home law firm Walton Law, APC. We have the knowledge and expertise necessary to help you through this difficult time. We understand this has been a stressful year and are passionate about helping our clients and their families recover all the compensation that they deserve. We are here to help!

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