Across the nation, the month of October is set aside to increase awareness of the issues that residents of long-term care facilities often face. In spite of the significant effort that is often made to choose an appropriate facility, there remains the possibility that a resident may become a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. Georgia families whose loved ones have suffered harm from abusive or negligent providers do have recourse to pursue justice.
Recently, county commissioners in one state announced that they would be using the month of October to encourage residents of long-term care facilities to become more active advocates for their own well-being. A nationwide study reports that an estimated 60 percent of residents do not have any family or friends who will check up on their welfare. In addition to lacking any family support, it is estimated that only 20 percent of all incidents involving abuse or neglect are reported. Furthermore, nearly 80 percent of residents who do report poor treatment fear retaliation.
Because elderly residents are often afraid to report negligent or abusive treatment, the a movement known as Residents Rights was started to embolden seniors to become more involved in safeguarding their rights. To that end, an elder care agency in Pennsylvania has developed a training program that teaches residents band together to develop relationships with staff and administration officials to enhance their own quality of life and care. The program, referred to as PEER, is just one of the ways that the state seeks to protect the well-being of nursing home residents.
This particular program provides seniors with the tools to become their own advocates for quality care. However, not every resident will have access to such programs. Georgia residents who have suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect often incur significant monetary damages from these inexcusable incidents. Victims and their families may seek recompense for their losses through the state’s civil justice system.