With several nursing homes in the area being reported as points of concern in the coronavirus pandemic, The American Association of Retired Persons and New York State Department of Health are encouraging adult care facilities to implement communication protocols for residents and their families. 

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Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office reports at least 1,064 New Yorkers have died in nursing home facilities since the start of the pandemic. 

The Susquehanna Nursing Center and United Methodist Hilltop Campus in Broome County and Elderwood in Waverly have identified cases at their facilities.

AARP says asking the right questions and establishing communication with facilities is extremely important to the well-being of loved ones living in a long-term care facility.

The New York State Department of health recommends facilities report if anyone has been tested for COVID-19 but it is not a requirement, so families have to specifically ask.

Family members can also ask about what the home is doing to prevent infections, if the staff has the personal protective equipment they need, what the facility is doing to help residents stay connected with loved ones since visitation at homes has been halted, how does the home plan to communicate information to both residents and families regularly and if the facility currently has adequate staffing.

New Yorkers concerned about safety of a loved one can call the Long Term Care Ombudsman’s office at 1-855-582-6769.