Removing Your Loved One from a Nursing Home Due to COVID-19? Read This First.

woman holding an elderly persons hand

When you have a loved one in a nursing home, you’re always concerned about their well-being and happiness, especially if you can’t visit often. That concern is heightened exponentially in the midst of a pandemic.

Nursing homes across Alabama are navigating challenges caused by the coronavirus—some more successfully than others. Many people are now weighing the benefits of removing their loved ones from a nursing home compared to leaving them in a facility.

If this is a question you’re asking, we wanted to offer a few considerations to help you find an answer. Before we look at what you should do after removing your loved one from a nursing home, let’s first consider whether you should take that step at all.

Should You Remove Your Loved One from a Nursing Home?

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It’s highly dependent on your loved one’s needs and your capacity to attend to those needs.

Here are key questions to ask yourself when making this difficult decision:

What level of support does your loved one need?

If your loved one has chronic medical conditions that require extensive care, they might need to be surrounded by professionals who know how to tend to their needs. The less able they are to take care of themselves, the more will be asked of you or others living in your home.

Are you able to provide that support?

Will you be able to administer all necessary medications, assist your loved ones with basic tasks, and attend to their needs if they face an expected or unexpected complication? Is your home handicap-accessible? Realistically assess your loved one’s needs and compare them to your capacity as a caretaker. If you don’t have help, and you alone can’t offer the care they need, then your home might not be the safest place for them.

Is the environment you’re providing safer than the nursing home they’re staying in?

The big question to ask yourself is which environment is safer for a nursing home resident. Do other people live in your home or apartment building who may be at risk of catching COVID-19, and then passing it along to your loved one?

Create a checklist of what a nursing home offers versus what you can offer your loved one. Though no place is ideal during an epidemic, especially for vulnerable people, you can determine which location is best for your loved one.

How much do you trust the nursing home?

Perhaps you’re considering removing your loved one because you have concerns about the ability of nursing homes, in general, to tend to your loved one’s needs. But maybe your concerns stem from mistrust in the specific nursing home your loved one resides in. If the latter is true, then now could be a critical period to act on their behalf.

In cases where someone feels their loved one is being abused, neglected, or mistreated in a nursing home, immediate action might be necessary. Our firm has handled many of these cases, and we can help you with your decision. Contact us anytime to speak to J.P. Sawyer at no cost.

Does your loved one want to be removed?

Your loved one’s mental health and happiness should be taken into consideration. If conditions like dementia that can affect your loved one’s judgment are not an issue, you should listen to them. They’ll likely be able to tell you whether their nursing home is offering them adequate safety and care.

What to Do After Removing Your Loved One from a Nursing Home

Whether you’ve already taken your loved one out of nursing or are considering doing so in the near future, you can take a few steps to make sure they are receiving the best care possible.

Optimize your home to accommodate your loved one. Assess your loved one’s condition to determine how to set up your home to make life easier on them. For example, if they have physical restrictions, you’ll want to be sure they don’t need to navigate stairs. If this is unavoidable, consider installing handrails to help them walk up and down steps.

Make sure all needed medications are readily available. Create a checklist of all medications your loved one needs, along with the times of the day they should take them. Consider acquiring at least a couple of months’ supply of prescription medications to ensure you don’t run out when your loved one most needs them.

Take quarantine orders seriously. If you’ve removed your loved ones from a nursing home because you’re concerned about their exposure to the coronavirus, then you should be sure their new environment is as safe as possible. This means taking social distancing to heart when you venture out of the house and restricting visitors until the threat of COVID-19 has passed.

Have critical contact information available at all times. You’ll need a list of your loved one’s healthcare professionals that is available to everyone who will be around them during their stay at your home. If you’re taking your loved one to another facility, make sure that you have all the necessary information in a centralized document.

Have a Plan for When the COVID-19 Threat Passes. Will your loved one be moving in with you permanently, or do you only plan to host them until their nursing home is safe again? Be aware of your loved one’s nursing home’s removal policies. They may lose their room if they are removed. They’ll need to be placed on a waiting list or move into a new facility once it is safe to move back in.

When You’re Concerned About Your Loved One’s Treatment, Contact Us

At Sawyer Law Firm, we help people who want to take a stand against negligent nursing homes. If you’d like to speak to an attorney who knows Alabama nursing home cases, call J.P. Sawyer today for a free consultation.

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