An Alabama Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Explains
One of the serious risks for residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities is the spread of COVID-19. Nearly two years after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, some nursing homes continue to fail to protect against the potentially deadly disease.
According to an NBC News report, a nursing home in New Jersey was fined by the federal government in April 2020 for not being in “substantial compliance.” The $221,115 fine was handed down after the discovery of 17 bodies in a morgue at the nursing home. The nursing home was facing a COVID-19 outbreak. The attorney general’s office launched an investigation.
The nursing home today continues to do business but under a different name, according to NBC News. The report details that the owners continue to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding, which are the taxpayer-funded programs that pay most costs for U.S. nursing home operations.
Meanwhile, one of the owners was accused of neglect and financial mismanagement (which the company denies). Documents show that the nursing home struggled to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Protecting Nursing Facility Residents During a Pandemic
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities house older people – those who tend to be at a greater risk of experiencing severe illness or death from COVID-19. Nursing homes must take steps to ensure the safety of their residents. Some facilities have done an admiral job, but others have faced fines because of nursing home abuse and neglect. News stories have documented unusually high numbers of COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes that could have been prevented.
Facilities should take the following steps to keep residents safe:
- Hire qualified staff
- Employ adequate personnel
- Make sure employees are trained and follow protocols
- Develop care plans for residents
- Make sure residents are adequately supervised
The pandemic has led to further guidance for nursing homes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends facilities take steps to restrict visitors. In addition, the CDC recommends adequately screening staff, vendors, and anyone coming onto the premises.
Here are other CDC recommendations:
- Screen residents daily for symptoms of COVID-19
- Avoid group activities and communal dining
- Enforce social distancing and require face coverings
- Have access to personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Designate a location to care for residents with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19
How a Nursing Home Negligence Attorney Can Help
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities should follow guidelines and take reasonable steps to keep those who are most vulnerable safe from contracting the coronavirus. Unfortunately, many facilities in Alabama have not implemented or adhered to plans
You trusted the nursing home to provide compassionate care for your loved one. If you suspect the nursing home was negligent in caring for your loved one, speak with an experienced nursing home attorney to learn your legal options.
At Shuttlesworth Law Firm LLC, we have years of experience representing clients who have lost loved ones because of nursing home abuse and neglect. We will listen to you and give you the information you need to decide on the best way forward. If we take your case, we will conduct a comprehensive investigation and aggressively work on your behalf to hold the nursing home accountable.
Contact an experienced nursing home attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. Your case evaluation is free, and you pay us nothing unless you win your case.