Bob Michaels is extremely passionate about providing the best possible legal experience for his clients, and focuses his practice on elder law, estate planning, business, and real estate matters. Bob has been able to provide piece of mind and a solid foundation to many folks in the Puget Sound area over the years and wants to provide resources and relevant information whenever he can. For more information on how Bob can help your loved ones through these troubling times, contact Bob to schedule a FREE consultation.
Since the Covid-19 crisis began, nursing home residents have been separated from their families. Some families have gotten creative – visiting through windows, via Zoom, Facetime, and from parking lots. Although many have had no way to reach their loved one, and must rely on staff to give them updates.
Unfortunately, this isolation has increased depression and confusion in many residents, leading to heartbreaking scenes of seniors dying alone and families not finding out until after the fact, or families unable to enter their loved ones’ room during their final days.
Nursing Home Recommendations
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is recommending that nursing homes should ensure that all residents and staff have received results from a baseline test before restrictions are relaxed, and the federal agency recommends that nursing homes should be among the last to reopen, not allowing the renewal of visitation (except for compassionate care exceptions) until phase three when there has been a sustained decrease in COVID-19 cases.
CMS outlines the phase three criteria that will need to be met:
COVID-19 Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
Other criteria are largely beyond the control of the nursing facilities as the federal Guidelines for Opening Up America Again call for increased testing and contact tracing, but facilities struggle to keep up.
Additionally, CMS recently issued rules on Medicare payment for rapid testing. State and federal guidelines currently require that nursing home staff should be tested weekly. CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have also recently directed that all residents should receive a baseline test and be re-tested when any resident shows symptoms or any staff member tests positive for COVID-19. This clearly has not been happening on a widespread basis. Clients advise that residents generally have only been tested when they show symptoms or come in close contact with someone who tests positive.
Tacoma Elder Care - Helping families face aging, illness, and disability through estate planning, asset preservation, and life care planning. For more information on how Bob Michaels can assist with your estate planning and elder law questions, contact Bob today to set up your Free consultation.