South Carolina Injury Attorneys
Visiting Your Loved Ones Saves Lives

Visiting Your Loved Ones Saves Lives

How COVID-19 Restrictions Have Affected Nursing Home Residents //

The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but the crisis has been especially challenging for residents of long-term care facilities. For many older adults, the nursing home visitation ban has resulted in “significant physical and psychosocial decline, and sometimes death.”

Visitors are one of the main deterrents of nursing home neglect and abuse, and in many cases, a concerned loved one is the only reason abuse and neglect are ever discovered. Take, for instance, one Greenville, S.C. man’s story about shocking abuse and neglect at a local senior living facility.

Alleged Abuse Behind Closed Doors

According to the man’s lawsuit, employees at Rolling Green Village allegedly abused and neglected his mother. The alleged abuse was caught on camera and resulted in a black eye, rib fractures, a collapsed lung, dehydration, weight loss, humiliation, and a loss of dignity.

The plaintiff only noticed something was wrong when he saw his mother’s black eye during a visit. After staff allegedly evaded his questions, he placed a camera in her room and found evidence of rough handling, abuse, and neglect. Investigation for the case is underway, but had this dutiful son not visited his aging mother, her alleged abuse may never have been uncovered.

Unfortunately, this is the reality for many nursing home residents who are not allowed to have visitors during the COVID-19 crisis.

In addition to fears of neglect and abuse, nursing home residents have not seen their families or loved ones in more than 100 days – and the threat of contracting coronavirus remains.

Recommendations From The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care recently held a day of action to reinstate safe visitation in nursing homes. The organization’s goal is to permit every long-term care resident to designate an Essential Support Person to visit them onsite. This person will follow the same screening and infection control protocol as staff but lend the important connection and support staff cannot. Many people participated in Consumer Voice’s social media campaign, and the organization still has sample tweets and emails available on its website, encouraging families to contact decisionmakers and share their stories.

Visitation is especially important when many nursing homes are understaffed due to the public health crisis – and reporting about the virus is not happening as efficiently as possible.

Consumer Voice also recommends people with loved ones in nursing homes to submit comments about the Interim Final Rule on Nursing Home COVID-19 Reporting Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, so information about the crisis is more accessible for all.

Final Takeaways

Ultimately, for a loved one to know what is unfolding at a long-term care facility, they will have to visit. This is just one reason why visiting nursing home residents saves lives and why these vulnerable individuals should be allowed to have visitors.

In the meantime, communicate with your loved ones as much as possible. If you suspect neglect, abuse, or other misconduct, please do not hesitate to speak up.

Our attorneys at Christian & Christian are always here to listen to your concerns. We have over 100 years of combined experience and can help you find a solution.

Call us at (864) 408-8890 today or contact us online – your initial consultation is free.

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