For the past three months, nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities nationwide have been on lock-down – and for a good reason. Deaths in nursing homes skyrocketed at the start of COVID-19 and have accounted for 1 in 10 cases, as well as 1 in 4 deaths, nationwide. During the past few months, steps that such facilities have taken to keep visitors away has certainly saved lives, but now it seems that the pendulum is swinging the other way. By keeping visitors away, nursing home residents have become increasingly isolated, which is resulting in many new cases of elder neglect. With friends and relatives unable to visit, some facilities are seizing on the opportunity to provide even fewer services to their residents.
The California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) announced that it is participating in a national effort to restore visitation to residents in long term care facilities. Why is that? Because the harm from keeping visitors away is now causing more damage to residents than the Coronavirus itself.
Over the past few months, we’ve learned a few things about COVID-19 that should allow visitations to happen safely. The virus is not easily transmitted outdoors, and wearing masks, especially N95 masks, offers significant protection against transmission and infection. Therefore, if long term care facilities set up visits outdoors in spaces where residents and visitors are safely 6+ feet apart, where everyone is wearing masks, and where there is no physical contact, the potential harm is negligible.
Nursing home residents are now suffering from social isolation and neglect, and so it is time to lift the visitation ban. For more information on how to make your voice heard, click on this link: https://visitationsaveslives.com/social-media-toolkit/
Attorney Wendy York of York Law Firm specializes in prosecuting elder abuse and wrongful death cases. For further information, please call 916-643-2200