COVID-19 Effect On Nursing Homes & Our Elderly
COVID-19 puts the lives of New York’s elderly loved ones in a precarious position. As the New York Post reports, “at least 3,316 people in nursing homes and adult care facilities had died of coronavirus at their residences or in hospitals across the state.”
The volume of confirmed cases has also put a strain on nursing facilities and care providers, whose staff are thinning as many call in sick or wish to stay home out of fear of getting infected themselves.
Loved ones shouldn’t be paying the price for nursing home inadequacies or neglect.
NYDH Policy Charged with Spreading Further Infection
Evidence also suggests that some of the nursing home rules put in place by New York’s Department of Health may have jeopardized the health of elderly residents and infected an even greater number of them. The advisory required that even guests testing positive for COVID-19 were to be returned from hospitals to their nursing home once determined to be medically stable:
“No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. NHs are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.” — New York Department of Health Advisory on Hospital Discharges and Admissions to Nursing Homes, 25 March 2020
A month later, Gov. Cuomo said he didn’t know elderly coronavirus patients were being sent back to nursing homes. Yet his name appears on the initial advisory, along with Commissioner Zucker and Executive Deputy Commission Dreslin of the New York Department of Health.
Loved ones should not be paying the price for these policies.
Nursing Homes and Adult Care Facilities
Since its inception, COVID-19 has been known to affect the elderly more than anyone else. This places a much greater responsibility on nursing homes (NHs) and adult care facilities (ACFs), who have had directions from the New York Department of Health on measures to counteract and reduce the potential for further infection. As our officials and experts continue to acquire new data and learn more about the virus, it remains that their officially issued guidelines are the approved protocol. If a nursing home failed to rapidly implement the official guidelines in a timely manner, they may have placed elderly persons under their care at great risk — a risk they would likely be liable to.
That’s why it is important that friends and relatives with elderly loved ones in the care of an NH or ACF be apprised of the official protective measures that should be in place. The official guidelines to New York Nursing Homes and Adult Care Facilities have included:
- Staff and administrators are to stay informed and maintain situational awareness about the disease, its signs, symptoms and control procedures.
- Restrict or prohibit visitors.
- Enforce the strictest illness policy among its staff and caretakers, isolating any who become symptomatic.
- Symptomatic residents must be provided a face mask and isolated.
- Expedited receipt of residents returning from hospitals to nursing homes.
- No denial of readmission based solely on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.
- Critical PPE needs of the nursing home to be made known immediately so they can be fulfilled
- A priority focus on environmental cleaning in the NH or ACF.
If these and other official protocols were not adhered to and the lives of loved ones were placed at risk or lost entirely, you should contact a lawyer who specializes in New York nursing home law.
Legal Recourse for New York Nursing Home Victims
A New York City nursing home abuse lawyer can help you to determine whether a nursing home or other establishment can be held accountable for negligence, damages or death. Attorney Michael S. Lamonsoff is a dedicated personal injury attorney who has achieved a reputation for excellence for his work. He has earned the nickname “The Bull” because of his unwavering dedication to achieving justice for the people he represents. If you feel you have suffered harm by a nursing home or adult care provider, you can be confident that everything possible will be done, legally, to pursue the maximum in damages. Call our firm at (212) 962-1020 for a free initial consultation. Or click here for a virtual consultation from the comfort of home.