Assisted Living Facilities have been stricken hard by the Coronavirus pandemic. People over 65 years of age and people that have underlying health conditions are an at risk population. Infections spread rapidly within these facilities for many reasons, such as communal eating and socializing situations, sharing rooms, caregivers working at multiple facilities, and many visitors entering the facilities.
Nailing down the actual numbers of cases in these facilities is difficult, due to the virus causing other conditions. For example, the toll of the virus in a person’s lungs can cause stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism or pneumonia. When someone dies from a heart attack brought on by Coronavirus, the cause of death will be “heart attack”. It has therefore, been difficult to get an accurate figure on how many deaths have occurred due to Covid-19. That being said, outbreaks in assisted living homes has accounted for over half of the deaths in the United States.
As the President of a Home Care Agency, my recommendation will always be to stay home with only family and a caregiver around. However, I understand that this may not always be possible, and that your loved one will need to be placed in an Assisted Living Facility. If this is the case, speak with the administrator of the Assisted Living, and find out what they are doing to protect your loved one. Make sure that the facility is testing not only their staff, but their residents for the virus. Are there confirmed cases in the facility, and what are they doing to protect everyone from the virus? What PPE is provided for the staff, and is there enough for employees for at least a month? Are staffing levels adequate for the amount of residents?
If all of these questions are answered, and you still have concerns, you have the right to contact the state ombudsman for some further help.
This is a frightening time, but it is your right to protect your loved one and know that they are in competent hands.