Friday, September 30, 2022

Coronavirus: Is your loved one in a nursing home? Here are some questions you need to ask

Local senior care facilities are taking precautions to protect against the coronavirus. (WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)
Local senior care facilities are taking precautions to protect against the coronavirus. (WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)

If you have a spouse, sibling, parent, or other loved one in a nursing home, you may be worried about their safety and well-being because of the coronavirus pandemic.

AARP suggests some key questions to ask the nursing home:

Has anyone in the nursing home tested positive for COVID-19?

  • This includes residents as well as staff or other vendors who may have been in the nursing home.

What is the nursing home doing to prevent infections?

  • How are nursing home staff being screened for COVID-19, especially when they leave and re-enter the home?
  • What precautions are in place for residents who are not in private rooms?

Does nursing home staff have the personal protective equipment (PPE)—like masks, face shields, gowns, gloves—that they need to stay safe, and keep their patients safe?

  • Have nursing home staff been given specific training on how to use this personal protective equipment?
  • If no, what is the plan to obtain personal protective equipment?

What is the nursing home doing to help residents stay connected with their families or other loved ones during this time? 

  • Does the nursing home help residents call their loved ones by phone or video call?
  • Will the nursing home set up a regular schedule for you to speak with your loved one?

What is the plan for the nursing home to communicate important information to both residents and families on a regular basis?

  • Will the nursing home be contacting you by phone or email, and when?

Is the nursing home currently at full staffing levels for nurses, aides, and other workers?

  • What is the plan to make sure the needs of nursing home residents are met—like bathing, feeding, medication management, social engagement—if the nursing home has staffing shortages?

If you are concerned about the safety and well-being of a spouse, parent, or other loved one who lives in a nursing home, contact the Virginia Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman at 800-552-3402.

AARP is providing information and resources about COVID-19 to help older Virginians and their families protect themselves from the virus and prevent it from spreading to others.

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John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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