If you have a loved one currently in a nursing home, you may be concerned about the care received, risk of exposure to COVID19 and other deadly illnesses, and precautions being taken to ensure safety. Here are 5 questions to ask the nursing home administrator:
1. Has anyone tested positive? Start by asking if anyone has tested positive for COVID19. This includes patients, providers and staff.
2. What preventative measures are in place to detect infections? Ask if they are using thermometers to take the temperature of staff and visitors. Have they added plastic barriers at the front desk to prevent the exchange of respiratory droplets between staff and visitors, including delivery services and others that come into contact with the staff.
3. Are they using personal protective equipment (PPE) correctly and effectively? Do they have enough supplies? Make sure they have the resources they need in regards to PPE like masks, gloves and shields so that they can follow CDC guidelines and change between each patient interaction.
4. How often does the nursing home communicate with patients’ families and what efforts do they make to keep everyone connected and up-to-date? Learn the frequency and method of communication for updates on the virus as well as the rules for maintaining contact with loved ones.
5. Are they adequately staffed?Ask for patient to provider ratios to ensure the facility is not short staffed. Not having enough staff leads to exhausted, overworked and disgruntled employees who may not provide the level of care needed to stay safe during a pandemic.
For more information on long-term care planning, Medicaid planning or other Elder Law issues, please contact Stouffer Legal at 443-470-3599 in the Greater Baltimore area.