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Stories and information in our region on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus In Nursing Homes: How To Keep Loved Ones Safe

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Jean-Francois Badias
/
AP

Nursing home residents account for nearly half of all COVID-19-related deaths in Suffolk County. While long-term care facilities are closed to visitors to stop the spread of coronavirus, it leaves families with limited access to their loved ones. 

How can families ensure their loved ones' safety?

Beth Finkel, state director for AARP New York, says it’s vital that home administrators communicate frequently with the families of patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

“If it’s your mom or dad or aunt and uncle or grandma, you need to hear personally what’s going on, and how the case is being monitored.” 

Finkel says health officials recommend nursing homes report positive cases, but it’s not required.

She says families should also ask home administrators about their supplies of personal protective equipment, and what measures are in place to prevent infections. 

Anyone who has concerns about the well-being of a nursing home resident in New York, can call the New York State Long Term Care Ombudsman at 1-855-582-6769.

Read the latest on WSHU’s coronavirus coverage here.

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Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.
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