Kemp has said he strongly supports the legislation, which will bring dramatic changes to the state’s assisted living communities and large personal care homes. Memory care units would have to get certified and have more staff, directors would have to be licensed and homes that break the rules would face higher fines. Assisted living homes would be required to have nurse staffing. Homes would also have to disclose financial problems to residents and families.
Plus, senior care homes must plan for a pandemic, have a short-term supply of personal protective gear, test residents and staff and notify residents and families of an outbreak.
» EARLIER: Kemp: Pandemic highlilghts need for senior care reforms to pass
Cooper drafted the bill to help prevent the types of neglect and abuse in senior care homes that were exposed last year by a series in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Advocates applauded the Senate’s move to add the COVID-19 requirements.
Most of the bill relates to assisted living and personal care homes with 25 beds or more. But the additional COVID-19 requirements would also apply to the state’s nursing homes.
“Georgia’s seniors gain new protections in this landmark legislation,” said Kathy Floyd, executive director of the Georgia Council on Aging.