How Will Nursing Homes Change After COVID-19?
The COVID 19 pandemic has showed many of us that parts of or society weren’t functioning as smoothly as we thought they were. It’s also showed us that what we previously thought was the best option actually wasn’t at all, and that alternative options were available. One of those options were nursing homes.
Before the pandemic, many families thought these were the best places for their older loved ones to spend the rest of their lives and receive great care. However, COVID has shown us that that’s not always true. It’s possible that families will be more apt to caring for their elderly loved ones for as long as possible before sending them to long-term care facilities.
If your loved one who lived at a nursing home experienced abuse, negligence, or any other subpar care while at their facility, you could use the help of a nursing home abuse lawyer. At Shrager & Sachs, we know that your loved one deserves only the best care. When they don’t receive that, we’ll help you get justice.
Nursing Homes During COVID
Across the United States, nursing homes were some of the institutions that were most affected by the pandemic. According to an article published by the New England Journal of Medicine, COVID had claimed the lives of over 28,000 nursing home residents and staff as of May 2020. As of January 2021, that number has skyrocketed to over 136,000 deaths, according to AARP.
Many nursing homes had visitation restrictions to limit the exposure of the vulnerable population to the virus. However, when residents and staff members were diagnosed with COVID, many facilities had trouble controlling the spread. Even when sick residents were transferred to hospitals, they still weren’t allowed to see any family, even on their deathbeds.
Residents, staff members, and family members of those affected realized that this is a flawed way of living. Elderly loved ones should not be forced to die alone. They also shouldn’t be in environments where their physical, mental, and emotional health aren’t the first priority. Because of that, many healthcare professionals are urging nursing homes to make changes to the way they function.
Changes Facilities Should Make
Long-term care facilities have seemed to always have problems with keeping illnesses from spreading through their walls. As the places with one of the most vulnerable populations, they should be implementing every effort to keep them from spreading, but many don’t. This was a problem before the pandemic and didn’t change when COVID hit. That’s why many healthcare professionals are proposing that nursing homes should change.
For the regulations that nursing homes have, here are some of the changes that experts are calling for, according to AARP:
- Strictly enforcing nursing home safety standards, meaning fining and shutting down facilities who do not meet these standards.
- Adding a federal waiver to allow people to stay at home for care that keeps them with their families rather than forcing them into nursing homes with strangers.
- Rearranging facilities so that residents aren’t in such close proximity and sharing rooms and bathrooms to slow the spread of any illness.
- Better pay for staff members, better hours, and keeping a full staff.
In the article from the New England Journal of Medicine from above, some other essential changes to nursing homes were listed. Some of the most important ones were:
- Medicaid needs to invest in care in all settings, namely in-home care so that children or family members of the elderly are able to care for them in their homes.
- There needs to be more safe and affordable residential care options.
- Providing care in small, family-style homes, or community-based living.
- Changes in social insurance or long-term care insurance so that more people can afford the level of care that they deserve.
All of these changes would be steps in the right direction to ensure that nursing homes provide residents with the best care possible and keep your loved ones from experiencing abuse. These changes would also allow the elderly to have the choice between at-home care and entering into a facility.
Shrager & Sachs Is Here to Support You
If your family member is in a long-term care facility and has experienced abuse or neglect on any level that led to a physical, mental, or emotional injury, then they deserve to get justice for the damage caused. With the help of our nursing home abuse lawyer from Shrager & Sachs, you can get the compensation you deserve.
Whether it was understaffing or a negligent worker that led to your loved one’s mistreatment, we will protect their rights. Reach out to us today so we can get started helping you right away.