As the coronavirus pandemic continued to devastate nursing home populations in Louisiana and throughout the country, there was a growing amount of commentary related to how the problem should be addressed and a sense of urgency that the time frame to save lives was running out.

The elderly seem to be forgotten among plans to get the country back to normal

An editorial focused on how this is related to a larger problem of mistreatment of the elderly. The concept of ageism, or the idea that as people age and become the less productive members of society they are somehow less important, may be responsible for neglect in nursing homes and a lack of crucial oversight that would have prevented thousands of deaths during the pandemic. 

Despite the science and data which shows that Americans aged 65 and older along with those in nursing homes are most vulnerable, there does not seem to be any organized effort among politicians to protect this class of citizens. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities were essentially left on their own for months until safety procedures related to testing were mandated by the federal government. At the time of publication, only seven states, including Louisiana, were among those to pass requirements for virus testing through legislation or executive orders. 

Some are concerned that among the push for schools and businesses to reopen, the health of the elderly and those in nursing homes could be seriously compromised. This focus is being lost, despite the fact that elderly people are 60 times more likely to die from COVID-19 complications than those between their 20s and 40s. Nursing homes have also received a disproportionately small amount of media attention, despite being the most dangerous places in the country during the pandemic. Most states are seeing between 40% to 60% of their virus death totals come from nursing home residents and staff. General pleas from politicians and the media about increased testing and supply shortages have not been specific enough to address issues affecting the elderly and others inside of nursing homes. 

Civil cases against nursing homes

If you have had an elderly family member become very ill or die during the pandemic while staying at a nursing home, it may be possible to sue the facility. These homes have an affirmative legal duty to care for their patients, and they are regulated by certain federal standards to ensure compliance with health and safety practices. Violations of these rules result in various sanctions. 

Get help from a nursing home abuse attorney in Baton Rouge

There are lawyers who bring civil cases against facilities who mistreat and neglect the elderly. To learn more about the legal process, speak with a professional at:

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf

3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806

225-343-2205

www.mlhlaw.com

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