As we near the end of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on nursing home residents in Kentucky and across the country.

In recent months, Kentucky nursing homes have seen a high death toll related to COVID-19. As of September 2020, 593 deaths at Kentucky nursing homes were attributed to COVID-19. Since then, COVID-19 infection rates have only risen in many nursing homes across the state.

By early autumn, just eight Kentucky nursing homes accounted for one-third of these 593 COVID-19 deaths. These eight facilities had something in common: They all had fewer registered nurses than the average nursing home in Kentucky. As a result, residents at these facilities received significantly less time with RNs each day than their counterparts at better-staffed nursing homes, both before and during the pandemic.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that, between the eight nursing homes with the most COVID-19 fatalities, residents had an average of only 24 minutes with an RN per day in the last quarter of 2019. This is less than half the statewide average of residents’ RN time during the same period, which was 45 minutes.

There is no question that the coronavirus pandemic has placed an unprecedented strain on nursing homes nationwide. Nonetheless, nursing home residents – as well as the people who love them – should be able to count on their facilities’ staff to take proper care of them. A lack of attention from RNs and other nursing home staff can lead to serious health issues, such as malnutrition, infection, pneumonia, and dehydration.

Nursing homes have a responsibility to provide comprehensive care to all residents. This responsibility includes having the licensed staff and resources necessary to respond to a health crisis. Not only are these resources important for the treatment of those infected with COVID-19, they are necessary for the care of each elderly resident – including the ones who appear to be in good physical health.

AP News recently described a crisis of nursing home neglect that has intensified along with the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in deaths at nursing homes caused by factors other than COVID-19.

As COVID-19 cases have claimed the attention of nursing home staff, non-infected residents have suffered from intense loneliness, isolation, and (in some cases) an unacceptably low standard of care. AP News estimates that for every two nursing home residents who receive COVID-19 treatment, one other resident dies prematurely of non-COVID-19 causes. This has added up to as many as 40,000 more fatalities than is considered normal in U.S. nursing homes since March 2020.

Contact a Kentucky Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Attorney

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect, do not hesitate to seek the help that you need. We understand how challenging it is to learn that your loved one may have suffered harm at the facility you trusted. You have every right to demand compensation for the pain your family has experienced.

The Kentucky nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP can help you take immediate steps to protect your loved one, and we know what it takes to build a solid case on your behalf. For a free virtual consultation with a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer, call (859) 550-2900 today.