Nursing homes and assisted living facilities carry a big responsibility: the care of our elderly loved ones. The state and federal government realize the critical nature of providing care to this vulnerable population, which is why nursing homes are strictly regulated. As such, nursing homes are required to adhere to a number of rules that apply to every facet of their operations, each with the goal of ensuring residents’ safety. Failing to abide by those regulations can have disastrous consequences for those residents, oftentimes leaving them seriously injured or dead.
Regulations pertaining to staffing levels
One particular area of importance in these regulations is staffing within nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Without proper staff, these institutions leave residents susceptible to neglect. That’s why Georgia law requires nursing homes to have, at a minimum, a staffing ration of 15 patients for every worker during waking hours. During non-waking hours that ration must be at least 25:1. However, nursing homes really should adjust that ratio to provide more care when warranted, which means that they should have a strong understanding of the patients in their care and the extent of their needs.
Regulations on training
Nursing home staff are also required to receive certain training upon employment and continuing training. That training should focus on major issues such as residents’ rights, identification of abuse and neglect, infection control, special needs of residents with dementia, duties when providing care, and other aspects of their day-to-day jobs. A nursing home’s failure to provide this training can put residents in harm’s way.
Hold negligent nursing homes and their staff accountable
Although nursing homes can be fined for failing to abide by regulations, those fines do little for families that have been affected by nursing home abuse or neglect. That’s why those who suffer harm at the hands of negligent and abusive nursing homes and their staff should consider taking legal action, not just to obtain accountability and compensation for the harm caused, but also to deter them from hurting other vulnerable nursing home patients who may not be able to speak for themselves.