Nursing homes always have issues with infections and illnesses that can spread rapidly. These facilities can be sued if someone becomes seriously ill or dies due to negligence.
However, homes in the Dubuque, Iowa area took special precautions when the coronavirus outbreak began to spread.
Local nursing homes emphasize sanitation and limited visitor contact
Facilities that house the elderly and infirm were given special warnings by the CDC due to the fact that those who are aged 70 and above, or people with compromised immune systems are most susceptible to viral fatalities. An administrator with the local Mt. Pleasant home said that he has already seen situations where the flu can be devastating when it spreads through a home. He said that any strain of cold or flu is very dangerous to people in their 80s and 90s, but most homes already know this and take multiple precautions every season. Some measures such as cleaning and disinfecting were expanded, and contact with delivery and mail carriers has been minimized as much as realistically possible. Bulk deliveries of mail, packages, and newspapers help with keeping the possibility of interactions low.
Other homes in the Dubuque area, including Bethany Home and Ennoble Nursing Center put in various visitor restrictions. There is also the possibility that these homes may totally ban visitors and guests during certain times if necessary. However, staff expressed concerns about mental health issues, as the patients in most nursing homes are already given minimal opportunities for socialization and recreation. When these people are essentially left in their rooms alone for hours on end with nothing to do, other problems can emerge.
Illness and abuse at nursing homes
Nursing home abuse and neglect is a common problem in the United States that often goes unreported or unnoticed by media outlets. Elderly and vulnerable populations can be left in facilities without proper management and care, which greatly increases mortality and injury rates. As the news report above mentions, something as simple as a cold virus can be devastating if a home is not cleaned and maintained properly. Because most nursing homes also experience issues with high employee turnover, it is possible that a patient can be neglected for several days if employees in the facility do not take their job duties seriously. Sometimes, this kind of neglect costs lives.
Get legal representation if you have been hurt at a nursing home
If you have a sick or elderly family member that has been harmed while in a nursing home, it is important to discuss the situation with a lawyer who focuses on this area of the law as soon as possible. For more information, contact:
1921 51st Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-2400