Covid-19 has rampaged nursing homes across the country, where vulnerable populations live in close quarters. The pandemic is a challenge for nursing homes to manage, and an emotional and legal minefield for families to navigate. If you have an elder loved one who’s in a nursing home during this Covid-19 pandemic, here are some tips to help manage the situation.
Stay Abreast of State and Local Laws
Nursing homes are generally governed at the state level, although the federal administration is considering demanding testing for all nursing homes and some local municipalities may have their own regulations. At all levels — and especially at the state level — regulations are evolving as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds
Because the laws and regulations regarding nursing homes change at times, make sure you stay abreast of the state and local laws that could impact the nursing home where your elder is living. These changes can include everything from relaxed or more restrictive shutdown orders, and they certainly include anything that’s specific to nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
In general, you can remain current by monitoring your sate and local news for updates to any changes. Anything significant will likely be reported. If you want to be absolutely sure you’re aware of the current laws and regulations, though, you should check directly with your local health department.
Ask for Documented Policies and Procedures
To learn exactly how your elder’s specific nursing home is managing the risks of the Covid-19 pandemic, ask for a copy of the policies and procedures that are being followed. You might find these online, or you may have to request a copy from the administrative office. If you ask, they should be willing to send or email you their Covid-19-specific protocols.
Verbally finding out about a community’s policies and procedures is somewhat helpful, but that information won’t be terribly useful in the event that you need to seek legal recourse. Written documents that detail policies and procedures can be used to check whether a nursing home is currently complying with all local and state regulations. The documents might also be useful should you ever need to show that the community is guilty of nursing home negligence.
Document the Mistakes You See
As tragic as it would be, everyone who has an elder in a nursing home must consider the possibility that their loved one could be exposed to Covid-19.
If your elder dies of Covid-19 and you want to take recourse against the nursing home, you’ll need to provide evidence of nursing home negligence. One key step to proving this in court is to provide evidence, and the best way to do that is to document what you see that’s wrong.
Get Legal Help from an Attorney
If you need legal assistance establishing nursing home negligence in South Carolina, contact Ryan Montgomery Attorney at Law, LLC. An experienced nursing home negligence attorney, Ryan is uniquely qualified to help you in your case against an elder’s nursing home.