Protecting Our Loved Ones in Nursing Homes During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Steve Levin

A message from Attorney Steven Levin

During these difficult times it is important for patients and their families to understand that residents in nursing homes still have the right to expect proper care.

Direct communication with facility staff, including the director of nursing and administration is key.  Find out what the staff is doing to prevent and control COVID-19.  Here are some things staff should be doing:

  • Wear personal protective equipment, such as facemasks and gloves.
  • Wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before and after contact with each resident, after using medical equipment, and after taking off masks, gowns, and/or gloves.
  • Place alcohol-based hand sanitizer in all resident-care areas, including both inside and outside resident rooms.
  • Practice cough etiquette/hygiene.
  • Stay home when sick.
  • Clean residents’ hands after toileting or eating.
  • Clean and disinfect medical equipment between residents and areas of the facility.

Here are some things administration should be doing:

  • Complete a special assessment developed by the federal government to determine if the facility’s infection control plan and protections are adequate to address COVID-19.
  • Communicate frequently with local and state Departments of Health, Emergency Management, and CDC to share facility conditions, obtain the most up-to-date information and resources, and ask for help as needed.
  • Put a plan in place for frequent communication with residents and families about facility conditions and individual resident updates.

If you have concerns about the about the facility’s infection control practices talk to the Director of  Nursing or Administrator.  Talk to your local ombudsman about any concerns you have as well.

If you have additional questions about what you can do to protect your loved ones, please call us.

 

Also read: New CMS Survey Shows 36% Of Long-Term Care Facility Staff Still Aren’t Washing Their Hands Properly

 

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