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Carrollton Nursing Home Regulations

Seniors deserve to be treated with dignity, respect and compassion. Unfortunately, some nursing homes do not have the best interests of their residents in mind, potentially resulting in abuse and neglect.

At both the state and federal levels, a number of regulations and laws protect residents of nursing homes against neglect and abuse. Laws also protect residents’ rights, including the right to privacy and a secure environment.

Federal Regulations for Nursing Homes

In the late 1980s, Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act, which subjected nursing homes that participate in the Medicaid and Medicare programs to rules regarding the quality of care provided. The law requires nursing homes to provide services and activities — as part of a written care plan — that support residents in achieving the highest possible level of physical and mental wellbeing.

To maintain eligibility for participation in Medicaid and Medicare, nursing homes must adhere to multiple federal requirements, including:

  • Having adequate nursing staff.
  • Developing a thorough plan of care for every resident.
  • Supporting residents’ ability to attend to activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, communicating, transferring, eating and toileting.
  • Providing services that assist a resident with activities of daily living if the resident is unable to perform the activities.
  • Completing an initial assessment of every resident’s capacity for functioning.
  • Ensuring that residents receive proper medical treatments and have access to needed assistive devices to maintain their hearing and vision.
  • Taking steps to avoid the development of pressure sores on residents’ bodies and providing adequate treatment and services when sores develop.
  • Providing appropriate services and treatments for incontinent residents in an effort to restore all possible bladder function.
  • Providing sufficient supervision and assistive items to prevent accidents.
  • Maintaining adequate nutrition for residents.
  • Providing residents with adequate fluids.
  • Avoiding any significant errors in medication administration.
  • Maintaining residents’ respect and dignity.
  • Promoting residents’ quality of life.
  • Providing residents with the opportunity to choose their own health care, schedule and activities.
  • Maintaining accurate clinical records that can be accessed easily for every resident.

State of Georgia Regulations

Any nursing home that receives funding through Medicaid or Medicare must adhere to federal regulations. In addition, some states have their own laws.

The state of Georgia defines nursing homes as facilities providing skilled nursing care and related services to individuals who require nursing or medical care, rehabilitation services or ongoing health care and services due to their mental or physical state. Nursing homes admit patients based only on medical referrals, and they maintain facilities to provide skilled nursing and rehabilitative care.

Georgia regulations address many aspects of operating nursing homes, including governance, administration, nursing care, nutrition, social services and other areas. Among many other specific requirements, nursing homes must:

  • Have a full-time, registered nurse who serves as director of nursing services. The nurse may not also serve as administrator for the facility.
  • Have a minimum of one nurse on duty during every eight-hour shift and ensure that enough nursing staff are on duty around the clock to provide adequately for patient needs. Nursing homes must provide at least two hours of nursing care per patient during every 24 hours.
  • Maintain a written program of training and education for nursing staff.
  • Employ a qualified dietitian who works at least eight hours per month and who plans or approves all meals.
  • Serve nutritious meals no more than five hours apart and with no more than 14 hours between dinner and breakfast.
  • Offer snacks to every resident between meals and at bedtime.
  • Provide services to help residents with social or emotional problems, either through staff members or through contracting with an outside agency.
  • Provide pharmaceutical services that comply with all state and federal laws.
  • Have sufficient arrangements for dental or medical emergencies.
  • Have infection control plans in place.
  • Properly administer and record all medications.

Steps to Take if Regulations Have Been Violated

When you visit your loved one in a nursing home, it’s important to pay close attention to the conditions, environment, and care provided to residents. If you notice anything of concern, you should report what you’ve observed to the state. In addition, consider seeking guidance from an attorney who is experienced in nursing home abuse cases to ensure that your loved one is protected. To schedule a consultation, please contact Parian Law Firm, LLC.