The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been devastating across the country. Few groups have suffered worse than elders in nursing homes, though. Where safety and hygiene standards were already questionable, in the pandemic, they can get completely unacceptable.
A 2020 article from Buzzfeed News (click here to view it) reported that thousands of nursing home residents had passed away from the deadly virus only a month into lockdowns. Containing the highly contagious virus was practically impossible in crowded nursing homes. Staff illnesses and absences as the virus spread meant that routine cleanings and inspections of the properties started to falter, which only worsened the hygiene issues further.
The same article quoted Attorney William Dean of Ford, Dean & Rotundo, PA in Florida. He expressed that he was concerned that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) don’t conduct most reviews of nursing homes. Instead, the nursing homes and assisted living facilities are free to assess themselves and pass their findings along to CMS for review, which is essentially a form of self-regulation, he warned. As history has shown, again and again, industries that self-regulate are usually those with the worse conditions for their workers and patrons.
Now that the pandemic has continued for the better part of two years, fueled by variants that can mutate with each new case, not much has changed among nursing home safety for vulnerable residents. Vaccinations have done wonders to help protect some elders from the virus and keep them out of critical care if they do contract it, but not all elders can take the vaccine. Preexisting health conditions and immune system deficiencies can disqualify someone from being vaccinated, so they rely entirely on their communities for protection from COVID-19. Without this option, some elderly nursing home residents are left hoping for the best – and their families must prepare to file a lawsuit if the worst happens.
Want to sue a nursing home for allowing your loved one to suffer from the coronavirus? Call to speak with a member of Ford, Dean & Rotundo, PA. We help clients throughout Florida with nursing home abuse and neglect cases.