As readers of this blog and family members who have loved ones in nursing homes and long term care facilities know all too well, for nearly the past six months, family members have been unable to visit their loved ones, due to Covid-19 restrictions. This has caused heartache and anxiety that people who have been spared the pain of placing a loved one in a nursing facility, can never fully understand. Try to imagine that your mother or father, a grandparent, an aunt or uncle or someone close to you, is literally locked in a nursing home or long term care facility for months — places that are too often notorious for poor patient care – and you aren’t allowed inside to visit your loved one and verify his or her condition or care.
Such has been the plight of families with loved ones in Massachusetts nursing homes, “skilled nursing facilities”, long term care facilities, and rehabilitation hospitals. Aside from family members, just try to imagine the fear and despondency of patients and residents themselves, many of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease or cognitive decline. As a Massachusetts nursing home neglect lawyer, I’ve seen these awful situations far too often, even under “normal” circumstances. The past six months with Covid-19 has been intolerable, for everyone involved.
Gladly, the federal agency that oversees such regulations for nursing facilities and rehabilitation hospitals, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), just released a directive substantially reducing those restrictions.