Key Points of This Article:
- COVID-19 continues to dangerously spread through close human contact inside Michigan’s long-term care facilities, even from individuals who may be innocently visiting a resident and appear to be asymptomatic.
- If you want to visit with your loved one inside a nursing home this holiday season or take them out of a facility and into your home for a short time, CMS is strongly discouraging doing either due to rising COVID-19 rates.
- It remains vital that long-term care facilities continue to work with residents, families, caregivers, resident representatives, and advocates to identify the need for compassionate care visits and keep all communication lines open between families and residents.
- Social distanced or virtual visits can still help families identify any signs of resident abuse or neglect. Individuals should report their findings immediately.
How to Safely Visit Nursing Home Residents This Holiday and Identify Common Signs of Abuse and Neglect
Holiday parties and year-end celebrations are typically a highly encouraging time for families of nursing home residents to visit with their loved ones, learn more about operations inside the facility, and identify any evidence of abuse or neglect. But with the increasing dangers of rising coronavirus numbers across the state, many Michigan nursing home residents will be left alone due to visiting restrictions set in place to protect them, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) agrees. The health officials released a public notice urging all groups to celebrate virtually and avoid in-person visits due to the surge in COVID-19. Since the start, the respiratory disease has resulted in 17,235 confirmed cases inside Michigan nursing homes and 3,693 resident deaths, according to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
The nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm want to help Michigan families choose how best to include their loved ones in their holiday plans by reviewing the CMS list of safe visiting reminders.
CMS: Throughout the Holidays
- Families and residents should continue to follow state and federal guidelines for visitation and adhere to the core principles of infection prevention when visiting is permitted. This includes remaining six feet or more apart, wearing a face covering, limiting the number of family members visiting at any one time, and only congregating in outside spaces.
- Nursing homes should find creative ways to celebrate the holidays without having parties or gatherings.
- Family members and friends of residents can find alternative ways to gather by use of technology or planning a window visit.
- Staff should use extra caution during the holidays and follow CDC recommendations for their gatherings with families and friends outside of work to protect the vulnerable residents they care for.
CMS: Leaving the Nursing Home for the Holidays
- CMS advises against residents leaving the nursing home because doing so could increase a resident’s risk for exposure. The risk may be further increased by factors such as a resident’s health status, the spread of COVID-19 in the community (e.g., cases or positivity rate), or attendance at large gatherings.
- Nursing home staff should discuss the risks of leaving the facility with residents and families and encourage alternative means of connecting, such as by phone or video.
- If a resident chooses to leave the facility, CMS outlines numerous measures to take, such as performing hand hygiene often and verbally greeting others instead of giving hugs or shaking hands.
- Residents and family members should report to nursing home staff if they have had any exposure to COVID-19 while outside the nursing home.
- Upon a resident’s return, CMS urges nursing homes to:
- Screen and increase monitoring for signs and symptoms.
- Test a resident for COVID-19 if signs or symptoms are present or if a resident or their family reports possible exposure to COVID-19 while outside the nursing home.
- Place the resident on transmission-based precautions (TBP), such as being quarantined, if the resident or family member reports possible exposure to COVID-19 or if the resident has signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon return.
- Consider placing residents on TBP if they were away from the nursing home for more than 24 hours.
We also suggest you contact your specific long-term care center, especially if you would like to bring a loved one home for a special celebration and then have them return to the facility. Everyone needs to work together to take extra precautions to help reduce the spread of COVID- 19, which poses an elevated danger to Michigan’s most vulnerable populations.
Michigan Visiting Requirements for Residential Care Facilities
One of every three deaths linked to COVID-19 in Michigan is a nursing home patient, according to the results of a new extensive data validation effort by MDHHS. Because of this, MCL 333.2253 outlines several emergency procedures for visitation that may include or prohibit visitors from entering their facilities. For purposes of the order, visitation includes indoor and outdoor visitation unless otherwise specified. Facilities may only permit visitation when the facility meets specific criteria such as no new COVID-19 cases, including residents or staff within the prior 14 days and is not currently conducting outbreak testing, or if the facility is in a county where current Risk Levels are unsafe with the exception of outdoor visits which are permitted in counties where the current Risk Level is E. Visitors who are unwilling or unable to comply with the facility’s visitor PPE requirements based on their infection control protocols may be rejected from entering the building.
Homes with trending confirmed cases and COVID-19 outbreaks had been reported by MDHHS at these Michigan nursing homes as of December 8, 2020.
- Lincoln Haven Nursing & Rehabilitation Community (Alcona County)
- Ely Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation (Allegan County)
- Medilodge of Greenview (Alpena County)
- Bayside Village (Baraga County)
- The Carriage House of Bay City (Bay County)
- Riveridge Rehabilitation and Health Center (Berrien County)
- Royalton Manor (Berrien County)
- Calhoun County Medical Care Facility (Calhoun County)
- The Oaks at Northpointe Woods (Calhoun County)
- Diamondale Nursing Care Center (Eaton County)
- Masonic Health Care Center (Gratiot County)
- Courtney Manor (Huron County)
- Medilodge of East Lansing (Ingham County)
- Mission Point of Belding (Ionia County)
- Medilodge of Mt. Pleasant (Isabella County)
- Jackson County Medical Care Facility (Jackson County)
- Laurels of Galesburg (Kalamazoo County)
- The Oasis at Adrian Rehabilitation (Lenawee County)
- Wellbridge of Pinckney (Livingston County)
- Cleave (Macomb County)
- Lakeshore Senior Living (Macomb County)
- Orchard Grove Health Campus (Macomb County)
- Regency at Shelby Township (Macomb County)
- Windemere Park Health and Rehabilitation Center (Macomb County)
- The Lighthouse Ishpeming (Marquette County)
- Lake Woods Nursing and Rehabilitation (Muskegon County)
- Chamberlain House (Oakland County)
- Pomeroy Living Orion Assisted Living and Memory Care (Oakland County)
- Regency at Waterford (Oakland County)
- Oceana County Medical Care Facility (Oceana County)
- Wellspring Lutheran Services Fairview (Oscoda County)
- Munson Health Care Ostego Memorial Hospital – Limited Term Care (Ostego County)
- Riverside Nursing Centre (Ottawa County)
- SKLD Zeeland (Ottawa County)
- King Nursing and Rehabilitation Community (Roscommon County)
- HealthSource Saginaw, Inc. (Saginaw County)
- Marwood Manor Nursing Home (Saint Clair County)
- Regency on the Lake – Ft. Gratiot (Saint Clair County)
- Autumnwood of Deckerville (Sanilac County)
- Oliver Woods 3 (Shiawassee County)
- Graceway at Countryside (Van Buren County)
- Meadow Woods Nursing and Rehabilitation (Van Buren County)
- Regency at Whitmore Lake (Washtenaw County)
- StoryPoint of Ann Arbor (Washtenaw County)
- The Villa at Parkridge (Washtenaw County)
- Applewood Nursing Center, Inc. (Wayne County)
- Four Seasons Nursing Center of Westland (Wayne County)
- Pine Creek Manor Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation (Wayne County)
Unfortunately, many more Michigan homes not listed are in non-compliance of COVID-19 policies and the risk to visitors, and residents remains unknown. If you plan a holiday visit to one of these homes or others, we advise you to reach out first and learn about the current visitation policy and scheduling options during the holidays. If you cannot meet in person at this time, then virtually should be an option. Many facilities will permit limited visits and virtual calls by appointment only. Outdoor or window visitors may also be subject to certain requirements.
Be Aware of These Common Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Injuries
As socially distanced visits are becoming more of the norm, families should know how to identify any signs of resident abuse or neglect and immediately report their findings. Some of the more common injuries and instances of abuse or neglect that occur in Michigan nursing homes include:
- Bedrail injuries
- Broken bones
- Concussions and spinal injuries
- Financial abuse or theft
- Feeding tube injuries
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Sexual abuse or assault
As challenging as this time is for nursing home residents and their families, but also for overburdened care staff who may not be supported by negligent facility owners, please know we wish you all the very best of a healthy, happy, and safe holiday season. Despite these temporary changes in our lives, we remain dedicated to protecting the rights of nursing home residents who have been mistreated and care workers who may be overworked and suffering at the hands of poor management.
Legal Help For Michigan’s Nursing Home Residents
Although this is a sensitive time to suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, our team of Michigan attorneys at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C., are working to fight for residents who have had their rights violated. Please contact us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) for a free phone or virtual consultation. Remember, there is no fee unless we win your case. We can be ready to help at any moment you need us.