Nursing Home Residents Still Feeling Isolation From COVID-19
At the beginning of the pandemic, the COVID-19 virus spread through Florida nursing homes extremely quickly. The situation was a crisis, and too many people lost their loved ones as a result. Both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and CDC issued guidelines restricting non-essential healthcare workers and visitors from facilities.
Although restrictions have been eased since, new data shows just how isolated residents were during the height of the pandemic. It also shows just how important it is family members try to ease the isolation, not only so residents do not continue to suffer from it, but also so neglect and abuse can be spotted right away.
How Isolated were Elders During the Pandemic?
When the pandemic first started, visits to nursing homes declined by 53 percent in March and April alone. Visitation numbers started to increase in April and June, they were still down by 33 percent. Some experts, though, say that the number of visits were actually down 100 percent in some facilities during the same time.
Visitation from family, friends, non-essential healthcare workers, beauticians, clergy, and more, are of extreme importance to nursing home residents. The new restrictions placed on these visits took a great toll on those in a nursing home. Residents quickly come to feel isolated and lonely. They do not only miss seeing the people they know and love, but in many cases they cannot even move around the nursing home, in an attempt to control the spread of the virus.
The Importance of Visitation in Nursing Homes
Nursing home residents have a number of different needs, and socialization is just one of them. Interacting with other residents provides an opportunity for a person to get to know their neighbors. Social activities, either within or outside of the facility, are also important, as they contribute to good mental health and improve the quality of life for residents.
There is another reason visitations are so critical for nursing home residents. When residents are not visited frequently by friends and family members outside of the nursing home, it increases their risk of becoming a victim of nursing home abuse and neglect. Staff members within a nursing home are more likely to neglect and abuse residents when they do not receive regular visits. Changes in behavior, bruises, and other physical and mental injuries go unnoticed when residents do not have visitors.
Again, while the federal restrictions have largely been relaxed, some nursing homes still have to restrict visitation when there is an outbreak in the home. In these cases, it is critical to remain in contact with your loved one through phone calls, virtual visits, and even window visits. This will allow you to ensure your loved one is safe and help them from feeling isolated at the same time.
Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Tampa Can Help Your Family
Nursing home abuse is always difficult to detect, and the pandemic has only made it more challenging. At Kohn Law, our Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer can identify when abuse is occurring, and help your family claim the full damages you deserve. Call us today at 813-428-8504 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.