Nursing homes have seen the worse outcomes during the pandemic across the country. They are not all the same and a trained professional can guide you through the safest and most effective placements for your loved one.

Part of the reason for the wide spread of the coronavirus has been a lack of protocols in place for residents who show symptoms of the virus. Patients were given masks but left sharing a room with other elderly residents. Nursing attendants lacked protective gear. Often the caregivers work at other nursing facilities increasing the chances for exposure.

eople age 65 and older are at a higher risk for COVID-19 and especially if they have chronic medical conditions of heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and respiratory illness. Both groups are heavily represented among the nation’s 1.3 million nursing home residents. That is why 1 in 5 U.S. deaths from COVID-19 have occurred in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. The potential is there for the spread of viruses.

Facilities have been instructed to limit visitations, suspend visitations, suspend communal dining and group activities for residents, screen residents daily for fever and other COVID-19 symptoms, screen anyone entering the building for symptoms and observe flexible sick-leave policies for staff members, and require staff to wear masks.

Nursing homes are regulated by the federal government with states mandating inspections to verify compliance with federal laws and standards in staffing, hygiene, record keeping, residential care and supervision. Facilities are regulated by the Texas Department of Aging and Disabilities.  Each facility must meet stringent health and safety standards to maintain their good standing to provide long-term care in Texas.

Governor Abbott is not releasing information about which facilities had outbreaks of the coronavirus. In 2001, the state released the Texas Medical Records Privacy Act challenging the ability of families to make critical decisions about the care of their loved ones. New guidelines are moving forward that will require nursing homes, to inform residents and their families within 12 hours of a COVID-19 case, as well as notify the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. health administrators have not said when that will take effect.

There are many safe and effective centers for the elderly in our local area. Your best guidance is a trained professional who can assist with navigating the resources to find the best fit for your loved one. Connect with Tracie at www.ElderStage.com or email Tracie@ElderStage.com. She has the experience and relationships to provide confidence in your decision with the right nursing home to fit your needs.

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