State to soon allow nursing home visits
It's been months since residents of West Virginia have been able to visit their loved ones in nursing homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Soon, Governor Jim Justice will phase in nursing home visits across the state, according to WOWK.
As of Wednesday, June 17, 2020, residents of West Virginia will be allowed to visit loved ones in nursing homes that haven't had any active COVID-19 cases in 14 days, under social distancing guidelines. In order for visitations to be authorized, facilities must be certified with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR).
Facilities that haven't had any COVID-19 cases in 14 days will be allowed to decide if they are ready to reopen for visits. Those who plan on visiting loved ones will likely need to schedule an appointment with the facility.
Identifying signs of abuse and neglect
Nursing home staff may be able to get away with abuse and neglect when residents are isolated from loved ones, including:
- Gross neglect of a resident's needs
- Poor handling of medications
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Verbal or emotional abuse
- Financial exploitation
If it has been months since you have seen your loved one, it's important to look for these signs:
- Noticeable injuries, such as bruises, burns, abrasions, swelling and bleeding
- Sudden loss of weight
- Bacterial, fungal or viral infections
- Torn or stained clothing
- Poor hygiene or cleanliness in the bed and room
- Unusual behavior, anxiety, depression, or mental anguish
- Social or emotional withdrawal
- Loss of property or financial assets
Let's also not forget that COVID-19 isn't going anywhere any time soon. That means visitors could potentially bring the virus into nursing homes during visits.
What can I do if I notice signs of abuse and neglect?
Nursing home abuse and neglect may occur when:
- Facilities fail to properly screen staff members when hiring.
- Staff members are poorly trained.
- Facilities aren't adequately staffed.
- Facilities are poorly managed and maintained.
If you have noticed any signs of abuse or neglect, it's urgent that you take legal action. An experienced West Virginia attorney at Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC can investigate the facility and find out where negligence and recklessness occurred.
We can also take on the facility's insurance provider and help to maximize compensation for you and your family. Contact us online or call our Charleston office at 1-888-720-1001. Our legal consultations are confidential and free of charge.