The state of Kentucky was given a federal grant of $3 million to help reduce nursing home abuse occurrences within the state. The money will be used to buy equipment needed to take digital fingerprints for criminal background checks on prospective employees. This will allow the state to better screen those applying for jobs that provide direct care to residents at the long-term care facilities. Governor Steve Beshear ordered last year that the state make changes to reduce nursing home abuse. Reports found that only seven of 107 serious citations issued at Kentucky nursing homes in a three-year period were prosecuted as crimes and most nursing home abuse cases go unreported. “This falls directly in line with our ongoing work to address elder abuse and improve patient care in long-term care facilities,” Gov. Beshear said in a statement announcing Kentucky had received the grant.
Kentucky Hoping to Create Stricter Background Check Laws for Nursing Home Employees
Right now, Kentucky state law only requires nursing homes and long-term care facilities to conduct name-based background checks for prospective direct care employees. With the grant and the new digital fingerprint scanning equipment, more in-depth criminal background checks will be available. Kentucky state law also does not order that the employees submit fingerprint checks, but the facilities will be expected to voluntarily participate in the grant program and officials are expecting high involvement. According to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services spokeswoman Jill Midkiff, the cabinet intends to pursue legislation that would require the fingerprint checks for caregivers employed in long-term care facilities.
This is a great step in protecting the residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities from abuse and neglect. By doing more in-depth background checks on potential direct care workers, they will hopefully be able to lower the chances of violent or abusive people coming into contact with the elderly and disabled. Hopefully this will also lead to more background checks for other workers who come into contact with residents, such as custodians and food service workers.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys in NJ and PA
If your loved one is currently a resident at a nursing home or long term care facility, pay close attention to the staff and the kind of care they receive. Your attentiveness is crucial to their continued safety at a nursing home. If you are worried that the care they are receiving is indeed negligent or abusive, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.