Dangers of Nursing Facilities During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Nursing facilities and long-term nursing homes are often rife with misconduct and negligence. During the pandemic, the shortcomings of these facilities have become even more apparent. The most vulnerable of our population–the sick and elderly–are among the most likely to contract COVID-19. They are also the most likely to die from it. 

Nursing homes and rehabilitation centers have a legal obligation to keep their residents safe. Not even a global pandemic can relax this obligation, and these facilities must take every possible measure to avoid spreading the virus amongst patients. 

Unfortunately, the most recommended measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are difficult in nursing home settings. Frequent hand washing or sanitization can be hard to keep up with when residents aren’t able to do it for themselves. In some wards, such as in memory care units, residents may be difficult to restrain and prone to wander, which further increases the chance that the virus, if it is present, will spread.

It may also be challenging to ensure that residents wear masks when they are in close proximity with each other or with staff. Some patients may have medical conditions that prevent them from having a face covering. Other residents may simply refuse to keep them on. 

Additionally, space constraints provide a barrier to effective social distancing. Many facilities house two residents per room, with only a few private rooms, and are usually filled to capacity with a long waiting list. The rooms are rarely spaced apart, and common areas are also small.  While the small spaces help staff monitor patients, they do not provide much room to spread out.

With all of these difficulties, it has become more important than ever for nursing homes to maintain hygiene, facility cleanliness, and to ensure that their staff are taking all necessary precautions to protect their health and the health of their patients. If your loved one was injured or got sick in a nursing home where staff were not wearing masks, sanitizer was not provided, or the facility was not cleaned regularly, contact us today for a free consultation.