To meet federal requirements, nursing home facilities must undergo premises inspection and respond to standardized surveys at least once every 15 months. As reported by Georgia Public Broadcasting, the Peach State ranks second to last in conducting the required inspections of its nursing homes.
As of May 31, 2021, at least 90% of Georgia’s nursing homes have failed to comply and no trained survey teams have performed a comprehensive inspection of their premises as required. Many facilities purportedly have not had a state representative conduct an inspection for at least 16 months.
A failure to inspect contributes to a greater chance of neglect or abuse
A trained team conducting an inspection and recertifying a nursing home can take four days. Inspectors typically review a facility to evaluate how its management operates and how the staff cares for residents. Without a periodic survey, residents of Georgia’s nursing homes face a higher risk of abuse and neglect.
According to the Georgia Department of Human Services, abuse occurs when a caregiver intentionally places a resident at risk of harm. Failing to administer medication, for example, may qualify as a form of abuse. Neglect also occurs when caregivers leave residents unattended, not feeding them or leaving them in unsanitary conditions.
Caregiver shortages may create a harmful environment
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution discovered residents had experienced what amounted to criminal acts in facilities operating with a shortage of staff. The Long Term Care Community Coalition studied nursing homes across the nation and ranked Georgia at 43 in the area of average hands-on care staffing. Lack of staffing often overwhelms the available caretakers and leads to low-quality assistance.
Families of residents in nursing homes or assisted living centers to have a right to monitor caregivers and their treatment of loved ones. Instances of abuse or neglect may require legal action for damages when harm occurs.