A nursing home, or otherwise known as a skilled nursing facility (SNF), provides a home for elderly family members when they’re in need of constant care by skilled nurses and healthcare providers due to certain health issues. For elderly residents, they’ve always been a place where dependable assistance has always been available. But with the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus earlier in March, nursing homes, traditionally a place of safety and rest, have become hot spots for the illness.

COVID-19 and Nursing Homes

The COVID-19 strand of coronavirus is a new respiratory disease that has spread globally, aggressively developing and mutating without any current vaccination or specified treatment to counter it. What’s even more alarming is that it has wreaked havoc on the elderly, as they are more at-risk when it comes to dealing with diseases and sickness.

After the outbreak spread from China overseas to the United States, it spread throughout multiple nursing homes in Washington state. Now, hundreds of nursing homes across the country are filled with elderly residents who are suffering from the illness.

But while there may not be complete answers on the illness, including how to treat it, a Skilled Nursing Facility can still help its residents by following certain guidelines and preventative measures to keep risks and numbers of infection low.

Policies and Procedures Regarding Visitors

Because the illness is spread through human contact, a Skilled Nursing Facility should have already restricted all visitation to its facility except certain compassionate care scenarios, including end of life.

A Skilled Nursing Facility should send letters and emails to family members and close contacts informing them that no visitors will be allowed in the Skilled Nursing Facility. Alternative methods of visitation, such as technology devices and video conferencing, should be encouraged.

Signs should be posted at entrances to a Skilled Nursing Facility advising that no one is allowed to enter a facility, while decisions about visitation during end of life situations should be made on a case by case basis.

Those with symptoms, such as a sore throat, coughing, fever or chills, should not be permitted to enter a facility. Those visitors that are permitted must wear preventative items, such as face masks and gloves, while in the Skilled Nursing Facility and have restricted visitation to the resident’s room or other location designated by a facility.

While there is still no cure to combat COVID-19, taking steps to prevent further spreading can help to flatten the curve and keep residents safer from potential illness.

About Highland Risk

At Highland Risk, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. With three offices to serve you in Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; and Burlington, Connecticut, we do everything we can to make your experience with us as professional and transparent as possible. To learn more, contact us at (877) 890-9301.