Nursing homes and COVID-19: What are your rights?
The coronavirus pandemic has hit residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities hard. Because coronavirus is very contagious and dangerous for seniors and people who have pre-existing medical conditions, residents are especially at risk. News of deaths and serious illness occurring at these long-term facilities in Georgia has been heartbreaking.
People who have loved ones in these facilities have been unable to visit. Many who lost their loved ones to COVID-19 were unable to say goodbye because of restrictions that were in place. Others are worried about the health and safety of their loved ones. Many families have questions and are finding it difficult to get answers.
If you have a loved one who was lost to coronavirus or who currently resides in a Georgia nursing home or assisted living facility, it’s important to know your legal rights.
Long-term care facilities have responsibilities
Residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities are often vulnerable to infection, so establishing and strictly following infection control procedures is one of their most important responsibilities. This includes the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitizer, as well as regular and thorough cleaning of the facility.
When the coronavirus began to spread throughout the United States, infection control procedures became even more important, and more precautions needed to be taken. Both the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines for long-term care facilities to follow.
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are responsible for designing a plan to put these guidelines into practice, training staff members how to implement this plan and keeping residents and their family members informed about the plan. In addition, it is their responsibility to ensure that the facility has adequate resources, staffing and equipment to protect resident from coronavirus.
These long-term facilities also have the responsibility of assessing their preparedness for coronavirus and making improvements as needed. They also have the responsibility of staying in touch with local and state health departments and the CDC to stay up-to-date on information, guidelines and resources concerning the pandemic response.
There is no excuse for negligence
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities that failed to properly follow these procedures put the lives of their residents at risk. There is never an excuse for negligence in long-term care facilities and when residents suffered illness or lost their lives as a result, families deserve justice and may be able to recover compensation.
Proving negligence on the part of a long-term care facility can be complicated, especially when you are not allowed to visit. That’s why it’s important to talk to an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer as soon as possible.
Attorney George S. Johnson knows how to investigate cases of neglect to determine if a facility met its responsibility to protect the health and safety of residents. He builds strong cases that hold negligent facilities accountable.
If you lost a loved one to coronavirus in a Georgia nursing home or assisted living facility, or are concerned about a loved one currently living in a long-term facility, learn your rights. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.