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Protecting your loved ones in nursing homes from the coronavirus

As the Covid-19 virus spread around the world, it’s important to remember that elderly people and people with serious health conditions are most at risk from the breathing problems it causes. A nursing home is already a hotbed of problems when it comes to preventing the transmission of communicable diseases, so that makes those seniors in care centers especially vulnerable.

If your loved ones are among the 4 million seniors who are nursing home residents in the United States or you have a loved one who is heading into a nursing home, here are the things to remember during this global health crisis:

  • Look for staffing problems. Understaffing is already a serious concern when it comes to nursing home neglect, but it’s even worse when there’s the threat of disease. Many nursing home aides are rushed, and they often forget to wash their hands between patients (if they are even given time).
  • Visit frequently when you can. Even if you have to wear a mask to visit your loved one, make the effort if you can safely do so. The staff (and administrators) are well-aware of which patients have family members who are concerned and involved in their care.
  • Limit day trips. If you normally take your senior relative on outings or out to dinner to get away from the nursing home for a bit, it’s wise to limit those events for the time being. This can help keep your loved one from becoming a carrier for the virus.
  • Remove your loved one. If possible, you may want to take your loved one out of the care facility for a while. While most people don’t have this option, a lucky few may be able to afford home care services until after the virus begins to wane.
  • Check-in often. Check with your loved one often to make sure that they’re getting the right care. Ask about what they’ve eaten and had to drink so that you know they’re hydrated and getting the right nutrition. That will help them fight off any viral infections that may be around.

If you suspect that nursing home neglect contributed to a viral outbreak of Covid-19 or anything similar, and your loved one was negatively affected, it may be wise to consult an attorney about your legal rights.