The spread of coronavirus across the United States has people scrambling to figure out what they can do to stop the spread of the highly contagious illness. Unfortunately, elderly individuals are considered a high-risk group for this virus. This has led to nursing homes placing strict limits on visitors to facilities. While the coronavirus protocol does minimize the chance of these vulnerable adults being exposed to COVID-19, it increases another risk – the risk of abuse or neglect.

The issue here is that many nursing home residents are fairly isolated. Limitations on visitors can increase that isolation, and it opens up a window of opportunity for despicable workers to prey on the residents. Most nursing homes aren’t eliminating visits, so there’s still a chance that loved ones can check on the residents. What’s being discouraged or forbidden is a visit that’s only for social purposes.

It was difficult enough to keep an eye on family members in nursing homes before these restrictions were put into place. Now, it is even more difficult. It is imperative that you keep the lines of communication open with the resident. Frequent phone calls to check on them is one way to do this. You may also need to touch base with the nursing home staff members to find out what’s being done to address coronavirus and to ensure that residents are receiving optimal care during this pandemic.

The mortality rate of coronavirus is around 15% for individuals who are 80 years old or older. This isn’t a virus that should be taken lightly, but common sense must be used. Even though there is a crisis looming, nursing homes still must meet their obligations to the residents. If they fail to do so, legal action is possible.