A Shocking Look at Elder Care in Georgia

Older man resting his hands on a cane.The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has begun releasing reports stemming from its “Unprotected” project, an unprecedented review of elder care facilities in the state of Georgia. The project involved reviewing thousands of public records for the years 2015 to 2018. The project comes on the heels of a report that was released last fall that placed Georgia among the top five states with the worst-reviewed nursing homes and Atlanta as the city with the most poorly rated nursing homes. 

The elder abuse and neglect attorneys at Slappey & Sadd are dedicated to holding caregivers responsible. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected, we can help. Call us at 888-474-9616 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and your options.  

Criminal Charges

The first report was released on September 22nd, focusing on the death of Adam Bennett, a 91-year-old WWII veteran who died as a result of injuries sustained at the Sunrise assisted living home in Cobb County. The death resulted in criminal charges for the young man who was responsible for Mr. Bennett’s care, including a homicide charge. The caregiver was ultimately acquitted of all charges, except one – elder neglect. 

Understaffing

Mr. Bennett’s tragic story provides context for the AJC’s findings. As a result of the project, the AJC discovered that many facilities are woefully understaffed. While Georgia requires only one caregiver per 15 residents (one per 25 residents at nights), many facilities struggle to meet that requirement. The report notes that some elder care facilities have hired convicted felons in order to fill positions, even though they are prohibited from doing so. 

Residents do not receive adequate care or supervision when these facilities are understaffed, leading to health issues, injuries, and even death. 

Lack of Training

To add to the staffing issues, the AJC reports that the personnel at many facilities do not have adequate training. Georgia does not require any degree or other credentials to be a caregiver in an elder care facility. The state requires minimal on-the-job training in certain areas such as CPR and working with dementia patients, but the AJC found that more than 2 out of 5 facilities failed to meet even those minimal requirements. This lack of training together with widespread understaffing creates an incredibly dangerous environment for our seniors. 

Unfulfilled Promises

The report notes that these instances of abuse and neglect happened at well-decorated, modern facilities that promised the very best care for their residents provided by highly-skilled caregivers. Residents and their families paid thousands of dollars for the best care, only to discover that the facility was unable to provide even minimal care. 

Contact Slappey & Sadd if You Suspect Elder Abuse or Neglect

 At Slappey & Sadd, we believe our elders deserve the very best care in their later years. When caregivers fail to provide the care you paid for, we know how to hold them accountable. Don’t let your loved ones be a victim of the greed and incompetence that plagues the elder care industry. Contact the Georgia elder abuse and neglect lawyers at Slappey & Sadd to schedule a free consultation – call us today at 888-474-9616.