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Is your loved one in a nursing home? 6 Questions you need to ask.

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AARP is providing information and resources about COVID-19 to help older Connecticut residents, and their families protect themselves from the virus and prevent it from spreading to others.

If you have a spouse, sibling, parent, or other loved one in a nursing home, you may be worried about their safety and well-being because of the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some key questions to ask the nursing home:

1. Has anyone in the nursing home tested positive for COVID-19?
· This includes residents as well as staff and vendors who may enter – or have already been – in the nursing home.

2. What is the nursing home doing to prevent infections?
· How are nursing homes screening staff for COVID-19, especially when they leave and re-enter the home?
· What precautions are in place for residents who are not in private rooms?

3. Does nursing home staff have the personal protective equipment (PPE) – like masks, face shields, gowns, gloves – needed to keep themselves and residents safe?
· Did nursing home staff receive specific training on how to use this personal protective equipment?
· If no, what is the plan to obtain personal protective equipment?

4. How is the nursing home helping residents stay connected with their families or other loved ones during this time?
· Does the nursing home help residents call their loved ones by phone or video call?
· Will the nursing home set up a regular schedule for families to speak with their loved ones?

5. What is the plan for the nursing home to communicate important information to both residents and families on a regular basis?
· Will the nursing home contact families by phone or email, and when?

6. Is the nursing home currently at full staffing levels for nurses, aides, and other workers?
· What is the plan to meet the needs of nursing home residents—like bathing, feeding, medication management, social engagement—if the nursing home has staffing shortages?

* Did you know that nursing home residents do not have the right to install cameras in their rooms? Learn more and ask lawmakers to take action NOW to help nursing home residents stay connected to their loved ones. *

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 Connecticut Long Term Care Ombudsman at 860-424-5200.

Resources from AARP are also available online at www.aarp.org/coronavirus

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