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How to keep a senior safe in nursing care during a viral outbreak

Ever since the Covid-19 virus went pandemic, governments and private companies alike have been struggling with how to minimize the risks people face from the disease. In particular, there’s a lot of focus on trying to protect particularly vulnerable populations, like the elderly residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

While the decisions on how to implement certain safety measures are largely up to each facility, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines about how nursing homes and the like can protect residents from contagion. Some of the recommendations include:

  • Sharply limiting the number of visitors each resident can have each day and screening those who do come for illness before they’re allowed to enter
  • Screening staff members daily for symptoms of illness and sending home those who may be sick
  • Screening patients regularly for symptoms of illness and keeping the residents in their rooms as much as possible

It’s important to understand that the guidelines regarding containment are in flux, however, so they may become even more stringent as new information is uncovered.

One of the biggest problems facing many nursing homes and care facilities is that they typically operate with a very limited staff. Many are, quite frankly, understaffed most of the time — especially at night or on weekends. That may lead to staff members forgoing important safety protocols, including simply washing their hands between tending to each patient, for the sake of expediency.

If you suspect that your loved one was harmed due to inadequate safety precautions in a nursing home or elder care facility, find out more about your legal rights.


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