The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect people differently. Vulnerable populations who are inherently disadvantaged in protecting themselves against illness have, sadly, died from COVID-19 disproportionately to the population at large. The numbers are staggering. Reports show that 42% of COVID-19 deaths in the United States have occurred in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Residents are placed in nursing homes and assisted living facilities because they cannot care for themselves. Families pay exorbitant fees, often draining their savings, to facilities entrusted to care for loved ones when around-the-clock care is needed but not achievable at home. Families reasonably assume that these facilities will adhere to basic medical and safety standards. Nursing homes, by their very nature, should possess the foremost expertise in disease prevention and treatment. But the sad reality is that many nursing homes operate with insufficient staff and lack the procedures necessary to ensure safety and stability during a crisis. COVID-19 shines a bright light on nursing home negligence and abuse.
Knowing that viruses spread more quickly in concentrated areas, nursing homes must institute mandatory use of personal protective equipment (“PPE”), including masks and gloves for their staff. Instead, certain nursing homes operate with limited staff and without PPE. This combination, a result of putting profits over safety, is a death sentence for elderly residents living in these facilities.
The stress on families is compounded by inadequate nursing home management. Often, nursing homes fail to share basic information with family members or perform needed tests. Ultimately, helpless nursing home residents fall victim to COVID-19, isolated from family and without end-of-life comfort. For high monthly fees, residents and families deserve better.
CPM represents family members who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 in nursing homes due to the nursing home’s unsafe practices in a time where safe practices are of paramount importance.
Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP has a proven track record of representing seniors who have been victims of elder abuse. For more information about COVID-related deaths in nursing homes, the author of this article can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (310) 392-2008.