While outbreaks of COVID-19 in nursing homes across the country are in the news–and have been for months—it’s important not to lose sight of other dangers which can affect seniors. Nursing home abuse and negligence in nursing homes in Hialeah, Homestead and other communities, for example, continues to be a concern.
In fact, nursing home abuse and negligence may get worse during the COVID-19 pandemic for a few reasons:
- Staff are stressed: Staff may be feeling pressure at home and may be worried about getting the virus. They may also be responsible for additional hygiene and safety procedures which adds to their workload. Abusive staff who are under additional stress may become more abusive towards residence and violence in this type of situation may even escalate.
- There are fewer visits to residents: Nursing homes are limiting or even banning visits from friends and family. This can allow residents to be targeted without anyone noticing the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect.
- Nursing homes may be understaffed: With some staff sick with COVID-19 or isolating because they have been exposed to the virus, there may not be enough staff to help residents or there may not be enough in the budget to hire support workers. This can leave residents underserved and neglected.
- Residents may be more isolated: Residents may be more spaced out and may be isolated due to COVID-19 exposure. Some social events and programs in nursing homes may be cancelled. As social groups and networks are reduced, seniors may be more isolated and this can mean they do not know who to turn to to report abuse.
- Temporary staff may be brought in: Nursing homes affected by a staff shortage during COVID-19 may turn to temporary staff and if this staff is not as experienced or is not screened as closely, they may be a risk to residents.
- Predators can take advantage: The confusion of COVID-19, isolation, and other factors can mean predators unfortunately see the pandemic as an advantage to harm others. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it becomes important to keep an eye on our elderly loved ones to ensure they stay safe.
- The focus is on COVID-19: With the focus on COVID-19, families may be thinking about nursing home abuse less and may not be thinking about the symptoms of abuse. The worry about the pandemic may mean signs of abuse, including bruises, changes in personality, unexplained injuries, and other symptoms, go unnoticed or are attributed to the COVID-19 situation.
If you or your family member has been injured through nursing home abuse and neglect, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation. We currently offer free, virtual consultations to help you stay safe and we’re proud to serve Cooper City, Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Aventura, Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, and surrounding communities in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.