6 Questions You Need to Ask If Your Loved One Is In a Nursing Home

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Disabled senior man at a nursing home looking away to the door


1. Has anyone in the nursing home tested positive for COVID-19?

  • This includes residents as well as staff or other vendors who may have been in the nursing home.

2. What is the nursing home doing to prevent infections?

  • How are nursing home staff, residents, and others being screened for COVID-19, especially when they leave and re-enter the home?
  • What precautions are being required of residents, including covering of noses and mouths when staff is in the room, and how is the nursing home helping them to comply?
  • Is the nursing home assigning special staff or units for the care of residents who have been infected?

3. Does nursing home staff have the personal protective equipment (PPE) – such as masks, face shields, gowns, gloves—that they need to stay safe, and keep their patients safe?

  • Have nursing home staff been given specific training on how to use this PPE?
  • If not enough PPE is available, what is the plan to obtain personal protective equipment?

4. What is the nursing home doing to help residents stay connected with their families or other loved ones during this time?

  • Does the nursing home help residents call their loved ones by phone or video call?
  • Will the nursing home set up a regular schedule for you to speak with your loved one

5. What is the plan for the nursing home to communicate important information to both residents and families on a regular basis?

  • Will the nursing home be contacting you by phone or email, and when?

6. Is the nursing home currently at full staffing levels for nurses, aides, and other workers?

  • What is the plan to make sure the needs of nursing home residents are met—like bathing, feeding, medication management, social engagement—if the nursing home has staffing shortages?

If you are concerned about the safety and well-being of a spouse, parent or other loved one who lives in a nursing home, contact the Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman’s office at 1-888-831-0404 or email them at LTCOPInformer@elderaffairs.org . If you believe that your loved one or friend may have been abused and is need of emergency intervention, please contact the state Adult Protective Services unit within the Department of Children and Families at 1-800-962-2873.

Resources from AARP are also available online at aarp.org/FL

For more on this article visit: https://states.aarp.org/florida/is-your-loved-one-in-a-nursing-home-6-questions-you-need-to-ask

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