Often, family members of individuals living in senior care centers have worries regarding the quality of care their loved ones receive. Friends and family visit these facilities not only to visit with their loved ones but to keep an eye on their care as well.
When care centers need to restrict or even ban visitors because of infectious disease outbreaks, concerns about possible neglect and abuse multiply. While there are fewer opportunities to directly observe the quality of the facility’s care during a time like this, there are ways that you can get some assurance from both the staff and your loved one.
Still keep in touch
Even though you cannot visit, you can still make a positive impact on your loved one’s day. Call them or arrange to have a virtual visit online often to decrease isolation they may feel and see how they are doing. Send messages of support in the mail.
Think twice about moving
The spread of disease has prompted some family members to contemplate taking their loved one out of their facility to care for them at home. While news stories abound about the spread of illness in group settings such as skilled nursing facilities and senior congregate care, the truth is there are many more opportunities for a virus to infect a vulnerable elder outside a facility. Also, you would need to be able to provide care around the clock, something that few people have the resources to do.
Check up on the facility
Stay informed with what is going on in the facility by frequently visiting its website. Keep updated on your friend or family member’s care. Ask staff by phone or email about their infection control plan and how it is being implemented, and never hesitate to alert authorities if you feel your loved one may be suffering from abuse or neglect.