Nursing homes provide comfort, dignity, and security to people in their final years. By doing so, they feel part of a community and will be able to receive the care they need. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, threatens to close nursing homes in unprecedented numbers.
If you are an insurance agent and have a client who operates a nursing home, offering them the help they need in this trying time is more crucial than ever. You can be their best asset, from encouraging them to get nursing home insurance to being aware of the signs that a nursing home is in danger of closing.
To learn more about this, read below.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Nursing Homes
The pandemic has put a strain on nursing homes in several ways. First and foremost, the virus itself has hit nursing homes hard. In the United States, many COVID-19 deaths have occurred in long-term care facilities. Residents of nursing homes, who average 85 years old and suffer from various health conditions, are especially vulnerable to contracting the virus.
Another factor is that nursing homes have been unable to get the supplies they need to protect their residents and staff. PPE shortages have forced some nursing homes to ration masks and other gear, while others have had to do without.
Financial losses caused by the pandemic have forced some nursing homes to close already, and many more are expected to follow suit in the coming months. Many facilities have spent millions of dollars on PPE, disinfection, and other COVID-19 -related expenses with no end in sight. All this is that nursing homes are struggling to keep their doors open. The financial strain is taking its toll, but the pandemic has also led to a decline in occupancy rates.
The Signs That a Nursing Home Is at Risk of Closing
There are several warning signs that a nursing home is in danger of closing. First, if a facility can no longer maintain its staffing levels, it may be forced to close. This can happen for several reasons, including staff members getting sick with COVID-19 or leaving because they cannot work under the current conditions.
Another sign that a nursing home is in trouble is if it starts to experience financial difficulties. A decline in occupancy rates, an increase in delinquent payments, or difficulty procuring medical supplies could be symptoms of this condition.
If a nursing home shows any of these signs, it is likely at risk of closure.
What You Can Do to Help
Of course, running a business is never easy, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even harder for nursing homes to stay afloat. As an insurance agent, you can help your clients in several ways:
One of the most practical things you can do is encourage your clients to get a nursing home insurance policy. This type of policy can help cover the costs associated with COVID-19, such as PPE, disinfection, and other expenses. It can also help cover the costs of any potential lawsuits that may arise from the pandemic.
With a nursing home insurance in place, your client will have one less thing to worry about as they navigate these difficult times. They will have peace of mind knowing they have the coverage they need to protect their business.
As we may know, the future is not predictable, and at any moment, things could take an unexpected turn for the worse. It is important to be prepared for anything that may happen. If your client’s nursing home starts experiencing a risk of closure, you should be ready to help them find a new facility.
The service might involve looking for a nursing home for them or helping them to transfer their residents there. As a result, you must understand your clients’ situation and are ready to help them.
Seek Support From Lawmakers
Many nursing homes are struggling to stay open due to the financial burden of COVID-19. As an insurance agent, you can help your clients by seeking support from lawmakers. You can reach out to your local representatives and let them know about nursing homes’ struggles.
You can also join forces with other agents and businesses to create a more powerful lobbying force. Increasing the number of people calling for change will increase the likelihood of nursing homes being helped.
By working together, we can help ensure that nursing homes have the resources they need to stay open and protect their residents and staff.
About Caitlin Morgan
Caitlin Morgan specializes in insuring assisted living facilities and nursing homes and can assist you in providing insurance and risk management services for this niche market. Give us a call to learn more about our programs at (877) 226-1027.