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Reflecting on Why Nursing Homes Failed

Across the country, nursing home residents, staff, and their families are breathing a sigh of relief as they begin to receive vaccinations for the coronavirus. Still, even full immunization won’t alleviate the tragedy that has unfolded throughout American nursing homes. The COVID-19 outbreak is a calamity not just because of widespread death among vulnerable residents but also because of the isolation and neglect that comes with quarantine.

Why Are Nursing Homes Residents Disproportionately Affected by the Coronavirus?

In a New York Times article written on the last day of 2020, titled “This Is Why Nursing Homes Failed So Badly,” author E. Tammy Kim writes about the worsening conditions inside American nursing homes that have seen the deaths of 120,000 workers and residents, a rate that’s three times higher than in July.

“Long-term care continues to be understaffed, poorly regulated and vulnerable to predation by for-profit conglomerates and private-equity firms,” Kim writes in the article. “The nursing aides who provide the bulk of bedside assistance still earn poverty wages, and lockdown policies have forced patients into dangerous solitude.”

The article begins by outlining conditions inside Brendan House, a Montana-based nursing home without a single resident testing positive for COVID-19 in 2020, a remarkable achievement considering that 40 percent of coronavirus-related deaths stem from long-term care facilities. In November, however, everything changed. All it took was one positive case. Now, at least 54 people are COVID-positive, and only three residents aren’t positive.

Brendan House isn’t the only long-term care facility to see such a drastic shift in cases. Many homes across the country are seeing similar outbreaks, many of which are the result of improper care, failing to routinely test residents and staff, reduced staffing numbers, and a lack of basic health measures such as properly-fitted protective equipment.

COVID-19 Quarantine in Nursing Homes Has Led to Isolation and Neglect

Kim describes the isolation and neglect in Brendan House and other nursing homes across the country that were forced to make changes to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Though it was too late to contain the spread, the home decided to put all COVID-19 patients on the same floor,” Kim writes. “They were moved into an unfamiliar setting, their belongings whittled down to a few pieces of clothing and mementos thrown in a plastic bag.”

As the virus continues to desolate New York City’s most vulnerable, it’s more important than ever for nursing homes to protect their workers and residents and be held accountable for their actions should they fail.

Call an Expert Nursing Home Coronavirus Exposure Lawyer in New York City

During this critical time, nursing homes must take every precaution to protect their residents and front-line employees from being exposed to or contracting COVID-19. Many nursing homes have protected their residents by following guidelines and adhering to strict protocols, but other facilities have neglected the wellbeing of the most vulnerable among us. If you suspect a loved one has suffered neglect during the coronavirus pandemic, the attorneys at Dalli & Marino are here to help.

Our seasoned New York trial attorneys have been aggressively advocating for victims of nursing abuse since 1996. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients through trust and communication to ensure that we fully understand your needs. Our highly skilled team approaches each case on an individual basis and is dedicated to helping you recover the money you deserve to compensate you for your loss. Call (888) 465-8790 or complete our contact form today.

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