Regardless of whether a resident’s family regularly visits, nursing homes must keep residents safe. However, nursing homes do not always fulfill their duties. A serious problem might go undetected until a visitor notices it.
Unfortunately, visiting your loved one might not always be possible. For example, the New Mexico Department of Health has decided to temporarily limit nursing home visitation to protect residents and staff from the COVID-19 outbreak. Families may be anxious about what these restrictions could mean for their loved ones.
Why monitoring loved ones is beneficial
Families of nursing home residents often find comfort in visiting their loved ones. In addition to seeing their loved one, families can monitor their loved one’s health and the staff’s quality of care.
Some issues that visitors can identify include:
- Bedsores, infections and other medical conditions
- Signs of physical abuse, such as bruises and lesions
- Environmental hazards, such as mold, rodents, flooding or uneven flooring
- Malnutrition or poor food quality
If you detect a problem, you can speak up for the resident – especially if the resident cannot speak for themselves. You can then work with the nursing home to correct the issue before it injures the resident. If the resident already suffered an injury, you can hold the institution accountable for damages in a lawsuit.
Residents are still entitled to proper care
You might worry about your loved one if you are no longer able to visit them due to the new restriction. In addition to the regular risks of neglect and abuse, residents may also face the possibility of viral infection.
This is a complex time, but the law still applies. Nursing homes must abide by the laws that protect the safety and well-being of residents. If you suspect that a nursing home is intentionally or negligently harming your loved one, learn about how to seek justice on their behalf.