As you know, one of the biggest issues facing nursing homes today is understaffing. Many facilities, even those in Iowa, do not enough staff members available to care for and tend to the residents living there. This often results in residents becoming neglected, mistreated, and/or exposed to unhealthy living conditions. As the coronavirus spreads across the country, many of you have likely become even more concerned regarding the wellbeing of your loved one.
Are they going to be monitored closely? Will staff members be able to provide them with the immediate care they need? How will I know if they are being treated properly if the facility has restricted me from visiting? These are all questions you have likely asked yourself over the course of the last few days as health officials have taken drastic measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19—including limiting who can visit nursing homes.
Therefore, if you’re looking for ways to help your loved one and potentially reduce the chances of them being neglected during this demanding time for healthcare workers, here are a few tips The New York Times has shared that might be beneficial for you to implement.
- Become informed on the facility’s plan intended to address the outbreak.
During this time, it is extremely important for you to become informed on how the facility intends on addressing the outbreak and what plans it has in place should an outbreak occur in the home. What will the facility do to ensure it has enough medical and safety supplies? Will sick residents be transported to a local hospital for immediate treatment? Does the facility have adequate staffing? In the event you cannot visit the facility, be sure to get in touch with an administrator or the director until all your questions are answered.
- Read up on the facility’s staffing and sanitation ratings.
In order to do this, you can use Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare tool. The online tool provides you access to how a home ranks in terms of staffing levels, health inspections, and other categories. The tool also allows you to see if a home was in violation of one or more regulations and what the penalties were for the violation.
- Consider relocating your loved one.
If you feel your loved one is not safe living in the nursing home they are currently in whether it is due to understaffing or because an incident has occurred, you can always relocate your loved one, however, you must be considerate to their needs to ensure they are going to be met.
If your loved one suffered an injury that was caused by a negligent or neglectful staff member in the nursing home they live in, the Iowa personal injury lawyers at Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. are here to assist you. With the coronavirus threatening the lives of vulnerable aging individuals, now is not the time to have them in a facility where they aren’t going to be treated properly.
You can reach Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. at:
1921 51st Street NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Phone: (319) 393-1020
Fax: (319) 393-4000