We are in unprecedented times. COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, has literally destroyed the normal rhythm of daily life in Kentucky and around the world. Health care workers are being pushed to extremes to combat this growing crisis. Kentucky nursing homes are unfortunately not immune from this crisis. With social distancing being mandated across the state, many nursing home residents aren’t able to have visitors, and the psychological impact on the residents is substantial. In addition, the psychological impact on the residents' family and friends that are unable to visit is also substantial.
Taking Care of a Nursing Home Resident When You’re Unable to Visit
We have received many calls in the past several days asking what can be done to ensure that a loved one who is a resident in a Kentucky nursing home is okay. Although everyone (including our team here) is tired of hearing it, the best and first thing we can do is remain calm. That is far easier said than done, and it is becoming almost impossible if you, like us, are keeping a constant eye on the news. Although these restrictions on visitation seem extreme, the risk of infection is just too great for elderly and immunocompromised residents. Kentucky doesn’t want a repeat of the tragic situation that occurred in Washington state, where the novel Coronavirus spread throughout the nursing home and caused the death of several residents.
The importance and impact of social visits for nursing home residents is widely known, and it is difficult to know what to do for your loved one when the nursing home is restricting or banning visits due to the Coronavirus. Telephone calls, video conferencing, social media, and maybe even old-fashioned letter writing are some of the limited alternatives. For those residents who cannot hear, there are captioned telephones that can assist with communicating. However, if these special phones are not already in place at your loved one's nursing home or assisted living facility, this form of communication may not be a realistic option at this time. Basically, do what you can. Even a short note or a brief call or even a text can have a tremendous impact on someone isolated in a nursing home during these historic times.
Has Your Loved One's Kentucky Nursing Home Implemented COVID-19 Precautions?
Call the nursing home or assisted living facility if they haven’t notified you of their plan to combat this pandemic. Kentucky nursing homes should be implementing the recommended CDC guidelines as they apply to nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Nursing homes should communicate with the residents' family contacts to outline their response to COVID-19 in Kentucky. Moreover, nursing homes in Kentucky should already have infection control policies in place to deal with infection outbreaks within their facilities.
Thinking of Moving Your Family Member Out of the Nursing Home?
Many clients have inquired about removing their family members from a nursing home during this pandemic. The CDC and local health departments should be consulted if this is being considered. This is not a decision to make lightly. There are many variables to consider, such as the ability to care for the resident outside the nursing home, the level of risk of contagion in your area, and the stress of relocation. It is critical you consult with the health department and CDC as well as your family member’s primary care physician, if possible. Although moving a family member out of a nursing home may seem like the safest decision, it could be the worst.
Stay safe and healthy—and do everything you can safely do to help other members of our community. We will get through this together.
Contact Our Experienced Nursing Home Lawyers Today
We have successfully handled hundreds of nursing home abuse cases throughout Kentucky. We would be pleased to provide you or your family with a free consultation. Please contact us at 888-450-4456 to learn more.