The State of Georgia is getting tough on elder abuse cases, which have continued to rise significantly across the state. On March 15th, 2018, the House passed what will be known as the Georgia Long Term Care Background Check Program Bill. This, also known as Senate Bill 406, will require that elder care providers undergo criminal background checks. This has been a long time coming.
The background check will be a comprehensive, fingerprint based criminal background check. The law will apply to the owners of personal care homes, assisted living facilities nursing homes, and more. In addition, applicants for employment in these facilities will be required to pass the background check. As well as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, this will also apply to employees of personal care homes, hospice care, home health, adult day care and skilled nursing facilities. The new background check requirement will take effect on October. 1, 2019, for new applicants and at a later date for existing owners and employees. Another key component of SB 406 is the central registry. The Department of Community Health would establish and maintain a central registry so that a family member or legal guardian looking to hire a personal caregiver for an elderly person could access information on eligible and ineligible applicants and employers.
Elder abuse can take many forms. It can be the withholding of medicine, physical abuse, mental abuse, or neglect. Every patient has rights. Here in Georgia, we utilize the following statutes: O.C.G.A. §31-8-103 through §31-8-121, collectively known as the “Bill of Rights for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities”. These rights protect patients. If you feel that your mother, father or other loved one is not being cared for properly in a nursing home or other care facility, do not wait to act. Waiting can be fatal. Contact our office so that David Crawford can work directly with you on the details. David has the experience, the passion and the legal knowledge to work with you and guide you towards a solution for you and your family.