Should I remove my Mom from a nursing home because they have COVID-19 patients in the facility? As nursing home abuse attorneys, we are asked this question by potential clients almost everyday. The answer is more nuanced than you’d might expect.
It really depends on how much care your loved one requires. Can you handle that level of care at home? Is there a better alternative facility?
Essentially, you have three options. Keep them in the facility, take them home or transfer to another nursing home. Below our attorneys discuss the viability of each option.
Keeping a Parent in the Nursing Home, Despite a COVID Issue
Here is the unfortunate reality right now; just about every long term care facility has had at least one resident who had coronavirus. Whether they were feverish and coughing or completely asymptomic, coronavirus is rife in skilled nursing facilities.
In fact, our law firm is investigating numerous nursing home coronavirus lawsuits in various venues. Regardless of the state, coronavirus is everywhere. So you cannot escape the virus by removing a parent from a nursing home. You can only lessen their chance of exposure.
Likewise, most long term nursing home residents require a lot of care and supervision. Maybe your loved one has oxygen requirements or a breathing machine that is only available in a nursing facility. Or your family member’s dementia is so advanced that they pose a risk to themselves if they are removed from a long term care facility.
Regardless of the reason, if your loved one’s acuity level is too high for you to appropriately care for them at home, they belong in a nursing home.
Keeping them in the facility may be your best bet.
If you are anxious about the level of care provided, schedule daily or weekly video conferencing with the facility’s nurses so you can see your loved one, even during lockdown.
Early Discharge of a Patient from a Nursing Home to Avoid Coronavirus.
If your family member is dependent on 24/7 nursing care, they must remain in a skilled nursing facility unless you can pay for round the clock aides at home.
That said, if your loved one is largely independent and only in the facility for a short term rehabilitation residency, this option may make sense. Although they would certainly benefit from the facility’s in-patient physical therapy, the risk of COVID19 may outweigh the reward of intensive therapy.
If you are thinking of removing a parent from a rehabilitation residency, get your physician’s blessing first. Discuss with your family doctor whether your loved one can get therapy at home and avoid the risk of coronavirus in a nursing home.
Transferring Facilities in the Midst of a COVID-19 Pandemic
If you recognize that your loved one’s care is too much for you to provide at home, but you are still set on getting them out of their current nursing home, the only viable option is to transfer them to a new facility.
This is never easy, and further complicated by coronavirus.
In order to transfer out of a nursing home to avoid coronavirus, you should take the following steps.
- Speak with your loved one’s insurer and get a list of available facilities that are covered.
- Contact those facilities and speak with their social worker or new admissions coordinator to ensure that they are taking new residents.
- Use Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare site to make sure you feel comfortable with the new nursing home.
- Coordinate any COVID19 screening or coronavirus testing needed to establish that your parent is free of the disease.
- Speak with the receiving facility or a third party transport service to safely transfer your loved one from facility to facility.
Whatever option you decide, just know that COVID-19 is pervasive throughout America’s long term care facilities.
While you cannot escape the disease, you are correct in trying to minimize your family member’s exposure to it. Just be sure that you take into account their care needs before making a rash decision.
When in doubt, have a frank discussing with their primary care physician about what is the safest way to avoid coronavirus while still receiving rehabilitation.« Previous PostNext Post »