It has been almost a year since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) put in place lockdown measures that prohibited everyone, except essential staff, from entering long-term care facilities. Since March 13, 2020 the residents of these facilities began a period of complete isolation that lasted more than six months. Totally disconnected from the outside world for more than half of the year.
The residents that carried electronic devices, and knew how to handle them, took advantage of online visits. But due to an extreme lack of resources, and the residents’ severe medical condition, this option was not a possibility for all of them. As a result, the lockdown measures cruelly restricted the possibility for families to monitor the care of their loved ones, even online.
Another factor that further aggravated the resident’s already life-threatening isolation was the CMS’ prohibition of state survey agencies and long-term ombudsmen from entering these centers. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (formerly NCCNHR) expressed serious concerns, claiming that the restriction would exacerbate the pre-existing staff shortage, which would cause the death of residents from neglect and isolation.
After months of quarantine, the CMS decided to loosen up visiting rules, and residents of long-term care facilities were reunited with their families. What was their reaction? Most families were concerned that their relatives exhibited extreme weight loss, physical deterioration, mental and cognitive impairment, and had clear signs of neglect and abuse. Almost immediately after the lockdown began, residents looked unkempt and showed lack of hygienic care.
To better understand the effects of confinement, Consumers Voice surveyed families of nursing home residents. Sadly, the responses confirmed their concerns. The consequences of months of isolation have been as devastating as COVID-19 itself. The survey can be found online, and details the urgent steps that must be taken to address the neglect and abuse occurring in these facilities. Read the summary of the survey here.
If you or someone you know is immersed in a possible case of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect, we invite you to have a free legal consultation with one of our attorneys to see what we can do for you.
Contact us at 888-288-0091 or through our website.