Local news for Columbia, South Carolina posted a story about the effects of the coronavirus and related restrictions in nursing homes. Many of the residents are starting to become psychologically fatigued from a combination of social isolation and dire warnings about the destructive power of the virus.
Life has changed in extreme ways for those in nursing homes during the pandemic
The nursing home featured in the story had an activity room that has sat empty for months. There were no birthday celebrations or games as normal, and the fish tank was the only thing noticeable in the quiet area. Many of the residents have spent their days during the pandemic reading and taking naps. Even meals are delivered to their individual rooms and they usually eat in bed, rather than having social gatherings at meal time. All visits from outsiders were restricted to conversations through window panes. The only people who have left the home did so because of serious health emergencies. Games of socially distanced bingo are the only real activity that the residents have left to keep them entertained.
At the time of publication, this had been daily life for about four months, yet there was no end in sight to these restrictions or a timeframe for bringing life back into this quiet atmosphere. One of the nurses who works in the facilities admissions department said that this is a very abnormal way to expect people to live. This particular home shut down and imposed severe restrictions as of March 10th, even though there were no reported infections until several weeks later. Over time, about one in four residents in the home became infected. That number declined in the following weeks, but the threat still persists. There also seems to be no urgency or concrete plan to get back to normal. The facility was in a kind of state of limbo.
The employees inside are overworked and taking on additional responsibilities without any additional pay. This can add to the dangers inside the home as they are more likely to make mistakes or get careless, because they essentially have to double as salon workers as well as caretakers for residents inside. The odds of common nursing home problems like neglect or theft from those who are able to get close to residents and work with them increases as well.
Nursing homes and the pandemic
National news about infections quickly spreading through homes and causing mass amounts of death placed nursing homes at the forefront of the pandemic’s focus. Despite protective measures that were put in place, many nursing home residents still got infected or died.
Attorneys in the Columbia South Carolina area
A lawyer who focuses their practice on helping people with issues related to nursing home infections, neglect, and abuse can speak with you. To get help, contact:
1116 Blanding St., #3A, Columbia, SC 29201