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Is Your Loved One in a Home for the Aged? 6 Questions You Need to Ask

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Español AARP is providing information and resources about COVID-19 to help older Virgin Islanders, 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 home for the aged, you may be worried about their safety and well-being because of the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some key questions to ask the home for the aged:

1. Has anyone in the home for the aged tested positive for COVID-19?

This includes residents as well as staff or other vendors who may have been in the home.

2. What is the home for the aged doing to prevent infections?

  • How are the home staff being screened 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. Do home for the aged staff have the personal protective equipment (PPE)—like masks, face shields, gowns, gloves—that they need to stay safe, and keep their patients safe?

  • Have the home staff been given specific training on how to use this personal protective equipment?
  • If no, what is the plan to obtain personal protective equipment?

4. What is the home for the aged doing to help residents stay connected with their families or other loved ones during this time?

  • Does the home help residents call their loved ones by phone or video call?
  • Will the home set up a regular schedule for you to speak with your loved one?

5. What is the plan for the home for the aged to communicate important information to both residents and families on a regular basis?

Will the home be contacting you by phone or email, and when?

6. Is the home for the aged currently at full staffing levels for nurses, aides, and other workers?

What is the plan to make sure the needs of the home residents are met—like bathing, feeding, medication management, social engagement—if the home has staffing shortages?

If you are concerned about the safety and well-being of a spouse, parent, or other loved one who lives in a home for the aged, contact the US Virgin Islands Department of Human Services in St. Thomas at (340) 774-0930, in St. Croix at (340) 718-2980 and in St. John at (340) 776-6334.

Resources from AARP are also available online at

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