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Nursing Home Isolation Like a Death Sentence for Residents

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In the past, family members of nursing home residents had to concern themselves with the possibility of neglect and abuse. Now, there’s another issue: isolation. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, nursing home residents are no longer allowed visitors. This can be devastating to not only the residents, but the family members who are seeing their loved ones deteriorate due to a lack of social contact.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had ordered a no-visitor policy at nursing homes, where numerous outbreaks have occurred. While this policy has kept residents safe, at what cost?

The ban is finally being lifted, after being in place for five months. The governor is now allowing long-term-care residents to have access to four people—two “essential” caregivers and two “compassionate” caregivers. The residents would be allowed to have one visitor at a time. Those with developmental disabilities would be allowed to have two visitors at a time. Residents would also be allowed to have as many as five general visitors, but only two would be allowed at any given time. They would be required to stay 6 feet apart from staff members and other visitors.

But is it too late? Some loved ones have seen their loved ones decline mentally and physically due to the isolation. It has even been called a death sentence.

One 95-year-old resident now eats alone at Rosecastle of Zephyrhills Assisted Living & Memory Care. Social activities at the nursing home are limited. The woman was once happy and healthy and has now become a shell of her former self. She has become pale and skinny and begs to die. Her memory has rapidly declined. She no longer recognizes family members and has forgotten how to use her TV and phone. She can longer go for walks outside because she doesn’t remember how to go back inside the building. Sadly, her loved ones pray that she will die soon so she no longer feels lonely and confused.

People compare this to elder abuse. While steps needed to be taken to protect nursing home residents from COVID-19, it seems like the isolation has done more harm than good. Seniors do not do well when left alone without social interaction. Keeping them away from loved ones often leads to mental issues and many do not recover from them. They continue to go downhill, which is devastating to loved ones.

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When family members are not allowed to visit their loved ones in nursing homes, it’s hard to tell whether or not the residents are being properly cared for. Nursing home isolation can lead to issues such as neglect and abuse.

If you suspect your loved one has been neglected or abused in a nursing home, contact the Tampa nursing home abuse attorneys at The Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group. We can assess your case and hold the nursing home liable for their actions. Schedule a consultation by filling out the online form or calling (813) 803-6519.

Resources:

news4jax.com/news/florida/2020/09/02/florida-releases-order-on-relaxing-visitation-ban-at-long-term-care-facilities/

tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2020/08/24/florida-family-calls-nursing-home-isolation-a-death-sentence/

https://www.megajustice.com/new-law-provides-additional-scrutiny-for-nursing-home-deaths/

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