People with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Group homes, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and state psychiatric facilities will not allow visitors. Day programs have been shut down. Families have shortages of in-home nursing care.
More than 480 Nursing homes in New Jersey have COVID outbreaks- more than 17,200 long term care residents have tested positive for COVID. Monmouth County alone has 1,198 confirmed cases at nursing homes, and Ocean County has 1,232 confirmed cases at nursing homes.
All of our major state psychiatric hospitals have COVID outbreaks. Greystone has 45 positives. Ancora has 56. Unfortunately, a lot of the staff at our state psychiatric hospitals have tested positive for COVID- more than 385 of them.
If you have a family member who is in a facility, there are a couple of important steps you can take now to protect them. If your family member has a living will, fax a copy of it to their doctor. If you have a power of attorney for your family member, send a copy of that document, and the telephone number of the person your family member chose as their agent to act for them, to their doctor. You may be able to upload a copy in their electronic medical records at home, using the patient portal offered by their doctor. You can’t visit them now, but if they are in a nursing home or a group home, you may be able to arrange to see them through a window, or if they have a phone, call them or text with them. If you cannot communicate with them at this time, and you are concerned about the care your family member is receiving, contact Fredrick Niemann, Esq. at toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.
By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County, NJ Medicaid Attorney