In just over a year, more than 10,000 residents and staff of Florida nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died of COVID-19. While the ongoing vaccination efforts offers hope, now is not the time to lower our guard.
Chronic problems that plagued nursing homes pre-pandemic—like poor infection control and understaffing—remain and may have worsened. Tragic stories highlighting systemic problems in nursing homes have been widely reported in Florida, and the pandemic has only amplified these ongoing issues.
AARP Florida continues fighting to protect nursing home and other long-term care facility residents, improve quality of care, and provide better options for older Floridians to receive long-term care services at home.
For those with a spouse, sibling, parent, or other loved one in a nursing home, AARP Florida strongly encourages you to ask your loved one’s facility key questions to help keep them safe, connected, and informed:
1. How far along are COVID-19 vaccinations?
2. Has anyone at the facility tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks?
3. What is the facility doing to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks?
4. Does nursing home staff have the personal protective equipment (PPE)—like masks, face shields, gowns, gloves—that they need to stay safe and keep their patients safe?
5. What is the nursing home doing to help residents stay connected with their families or other loved ones during this time?
6. How is the facility communicating important information to residents and their loved ones on a regular basis?
7. Is the nursing home currently at full staffing levels for nurses, aides and other workers?
8. How are healthy-living programs being maintained?
If you are concerned about the safety and well-being of a spouse, parent, or other loved one who lives in a nursing home, contact the Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at 1-888-831-0404.
AARP Florida is providing information and resources about COVID-19 to help older Floridians get the latest information. Read more about Florida’s vaccine distribution here.
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