According to a recent article, in the U.S., thousands of people who are ill with COVID-19 are living in homes for the disabled. This is highly concerning as many residents in these types of facilities already have serious medical conditions. Like nursing home residents, people with special needs who are living in closed environments are not allowed to have visitors. Under these circumstances, if your loved one with special needs is living in a care facility, you probably have serious concerns about their health.
According to a recent report, the Associated Press (AP) surveyed all U.S. States and found that at least 5,800 residents in such facilities had COVID-19, and more than 680 have died. The numbers are believed to be higher as these figures did not include information from California and Texas. These states did not participate in the survey.
Members of this population are typically at higher risk due to underlying medical conditions. Often, individuals with intellectual disabilities residing in these facilities also have conditions that prevent them from walking and performing routine hygiene and feeding tasks. Being bedbound and dependent on others for bathing and feeding can also create infectious conditions.
Many adults with special needs live inside one of California’s Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs). These are government-funded health facilities that provide 24-hour care to individuals with intellectual disabilities. There is a range of ICF facilities that offer different services. In California, ICFs are regulated by the state as well as the federal government.
If you can’t visit your loved one, contact their residential facility, and find out what types of virtual resources are available. You want to maintain as much of a presence in his or her life as possible, even if you can’t be in the same room. Call regularly if your loved one can talk with you. Ask questions about their care and what is happening inside their living environment.
Call the facility and talk to its administrators and the shift supervisors. When you contact the home, ask about their COVID-19 protocols and the precautions they are taking to protect their residents. If your loved one is under a legal conservatorship, the probate court and his or her attorney should already be involved in the situation. Contact their conservator of the person and tell them if you have any concerns. You can also touch base with your loved one’s attorney about any concerning issues. If you suspect that there is any kind of abuse or neglect in the facility, don’t hesitate to contact Adult Protective Services.
At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we have experience helping clients find the best solutions for their loved ones with special needs. If you have concerns about your loved one and want to talk about your options, schedule a free consultation today.