My loved one has COPD and lives in a senior facility/nursing home/assisted living and I have heard there is an increased risk in these places. What should I be asking the facility about their plans for people with respiratory disease?

Question: 
My loved one has COPD and lives in a senior facility/nursing home/assisted living and I have heard there is an increased risk in these places. What should I be asking the facility about their plans for people with respiratory disease?
Date Added: 
03/24/2020 - 12:00pm
Category: 
COVID-19
Answer: 

The COVID-19 outbreak in a Washington nursing home raised concerns about the risks faced by others in similar places, including nursing homes, assisted living homes and other senior institutional living arrangements. The CDC has published recommendations for these facilities at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/prevent-spread-in-long-term-care-facilities.html. Recommendations include very strict limits on visitors, flexible sick leave policies for workers, rules to identify and address sick workers, education and training on COVID-19 for residents and workers and a series of improved cleaning and infection-control practices. If your facility hasn’t implemented visitor restrictions or other policies consistent with the CDC recommendations, you should ask them how they are planning to respond. Consider asking what arrangements they are making so there is enough oxygen and protective gear available, along with what policies they are putting in place so they can be sure higher-risk patients, like those with lung disease, are assessed and moved to a hospital if necessary. Finally, consider suggesting that they conduct additional outreach to the facility’s employees to educate them about lung disease and the early signs and symptoms of exacerbations. You can send them to the COPD Foundation’s website for downloadable resources or videos.