The people living in nursing homes are often very vulnerable. They may be physically weak because of their age or due to health conditions. Some of them that may lack the mental acuity to even argue on their own behalf effectively due to conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Older adults and other vulnerable people in nursing homes are often completely dependent on the services provided by staff for the basic functions of daily life.
Given that residents are so vulnerable, nursing homes should take steps to carefully screen prospective employees before allowing anyone access to their residence. In fact, Georgia lawmakers have passed a law mandating background checks when nursing homes bring in new staff.
Unfortunately, some nursing homes cut corners to save money or to speed up the hiring process and could hire someone with a history of interpersonal violence or substance abuse who might mistreat the residents. What happens then?
The facility may be liable for its failings
When a nursing home facility violates Georgia statutes, it could face citations for regulatory non-compliance that could prove quite expensive. In scenarios where residents suffered provable injuries because of negligent or dangerous staff members, those residents or their family members may have grounds for civil lawsuits against the nursing home.
Documentation of the injuries individuals suffered or the mistreatment they endured could help hold the executives or owners of a nursing home accountable.
How do dangerous people end up at nursing homes?
Nursing homework is far from glamorous, and it frankly does not pay very well. The hours are often demanding, and the actual work may require physical lifting or dealing with bodily fluids, which can be a challenge for many people.
Combine that with chronic understaffing, and you have it work environment that makes it hard to attract the best and brightest help available. Despite state statutes requiring background checks, desperate facilities may waive background checks or knowingly hire someone with a criminal history just so they have enough staff members on hand to keep their beds full.
Understanding what steps you can take in a scenario involving unsafe nursing home workers will make you a better advocate for a loved one who has experienced nursing home abuse or neglect.