Caring for the elderly during COVID-19 pandemic

Our elderly are most at risk from COVID. What recourse do they have?

Many of us, like you, have older parents and loved ones who live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  Our elderly and these nursing facilities were one of the areas hardest hit by the outbreak of COVID-19.

There are a large number of nursing homes and elderly population, which is what makes that population one of the most at risk.  When you combine that with South Florida and Miami already being a hot spot in Florida, you have an ever-growing problem.  This is especially true now that the the United States the most confirmed cases worldwide.

Many people are wondering what duties nursing homes owe to the people living in them as we endure the coronavirus pandemic.  For example, what obligation does the nursing home have to prevent the spread of disease, and what obligation does the nursing home have to monitor and train its employees to make sure they do not bring COVID-19 into the facility?  Generally, such facilities must operate to a reasonable standard of practice, or what one would find at similarly situated facilities. In the face of the current outbreak, they should exercise caution by training and monitoring staff members and determine whether they are experiencing any symptoms.  Nursing homes should also monitor the residents living there to make sure the sick are isolated and cared for.

Recently, the State of Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) issued updated guidelines in the form of an emergency order, rolling out more stringent procedures and guidelines for these types of facilities. It goes without saying that these facilities and all members of staff should be familiar with and following these procedures. These standards include updated sanitation measures and maintaining a professional staff that is aware of the risks, especially to the elderly, associated with the spread of COVID-19.

Should you or a loved one residing in a nursing home or long-term care facility feel that the staff of a facility is not following proper procedures to prevent the spread of the virus, we urge you to contact a professional that can provide an overview of your rights to hold these facilities accountable. The attorneys at Mase Mebane & Briggs routinely represents clients throughout the state of Florida in both state and federal courts. If you or a family member feel that you have been injured as a result of someone else’s conduct, please contact the firm as soon as possible to discuss any and all rights you may have to pursue a potential claim.