Underpaid and overwhelmed: That’s the reality for many employees trying to earn a living while caring for some of the most vulnerable members of our society – our elderly. Many long-term care facilities in Georgia struggle to retain qualified staff as other medical facilities often offer more money for less work. That’s according to an in-depth, multi-part investigation from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution into the state of personal care homes, assisted living facilities, and skilled nursing homes in Georgia.
As certified nursing assistants and other nursing home staff are lured away to more lucrative jobs, nursing home administrators find themselves forced to hire less experienced and often under-qualified workers. Some even turn a blind eye to questionable behavior because they need bodies to fill shifts.
The AJC reporter Carrie Teegardin wrote that, “over and over again, a significant share of these facilities failed to provide even the minimal level of care that state regulations require, resulting in injuries, discomfort, humiliation and even deaths.”
Sadly, such disregard by a director at Sunrise at East Cobb, an assisted living facility in Marietta, Georgia, proved fatal for a 91-year-old World War II veteran. Adam Bennett died after suffering injuries consistent with a beating, according to the local medical examiner, who ruled the death a homicide.
One of the nursing home employees was charged with elder neglect, elder abuse and murder. After a trial, he was found guilty of only elder neglect and sentenced to five years in prison.
You can read the complete story and view the entire multi-part series from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution here.