The United States is grappling with how to handle the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19). While this virus originated in Wuhan, China, it has moved throughout the world. We now know that the elderly have a higher risk of becoming seriously sick or dying due to Covid-19. At Peddicord & Townsend LLC, our Kansas City nursing home abuse attorneys want to discuss how the virus is affecting local nursing homes and other assisted living facilities in our area.
As Covid-19 has swept across the nation, we still do not have a grasp on how bad the pandemic will get. One thing is certain – there are certain groups more vulnerable to becoming seriously ill in the event they contract this virus. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those who are 60 years of age and older should take extra caution. The CDC also points out that those with heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and a weakened immune system are also more vulnerable to severe consequences from Covid-19.
This is particularly concerning for those who reside in nursing homes or other long-term assisted living facilities in and around Kansas City. We have seen just how devastating coronavirus can be in a nursing home setting. As of this writing, 19 people have died at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington.
According to Mark Parkinson, the president of the American Health Care Association, “For people over the age of 80 … the mortality rate could be as high as 15 percent.”
The federal government has stressed that nursing homes be extra vigilant with their infection control protocols, particularly those in areas where confirmed cases are nearby. Federal regulations already require nursing homes to have an infection prevention specialist on their staff, but the response of facilities across the country has varied. Some places have significantly restricted visitor access to nursing homes, particularly if they have symptoms related to Covid-19.
Another major concern is what will happen if quarantines make it impossible for nursing home employees to get to work. Many nursing homes in the Kansas City area are already short-staffed. Losing even more workers due to coronavirus could lead to situations where a nursing home resident’s basic needs are neglected. All nursing home and elderly care facilities in Kansas City should be taking steps to mitigate losses of staff they experience due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
If you or somebody you love is in a nursing home and you have questions about Covid-19, please refer to official statements released by federal and state authorities. If you think that this outbreak has led to a deterioration of care for your loved one in a nursing home, you may need to seek legal assistance. At Peddicord & Townsend LLC, we are dedicated to helping those who have been abused or neglected in nursing homes. Our Kansas City nursing home abuse attorneys will look into your case to determine whether you are entitled to any compensation. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 816-842-3200.