In 2015, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, coupled with the Administration on Aging (AOA), issued a set of policies called the Emergency Preparedness and Response: Model Policies and Procedures for State Long Term Care Ombudsman Programs.
These policies established standards for detailed disaster preparedness plans for nursing homes that every senior living facility in the U.S. must create and be prepared to execute. The goal is to ensure the safety and well-being of residents in the event of disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, floods, explosions, or any other hazardous situation which could necessitate nursing facilities to take action to save lives or property.
Senior Living Facilities Must Prepare for Emergencies
These federal regulations require nursing homes to develop and implement significantly effective disaster preparedness plans to carry out emergency operations such as:
- Emergency response training for staff members
- Evacuation plans
- On-site shelter plans
- Information and resource sharing
- Emergency healthcare
- Personal safety and individual preparedness
Government officials evaluate nursing facilities to ensure that they have established emergency plans and staff are capable of implementing them. The Model Practices and Procedures also prepare evaluators to effectively evaluate the sufficiency of nursing home emergency preparedness by:
- Clarifying appropriate functions and limitations of programs in preparing for and responding to emergencies affecting long-term care facility residents.
- Assisting investigative programs in developing program policies and procedures related to emergency preparedness, response, and recovery activities.
- Assisting agencies on aging to incorporate the functions of investigative programs related to emergency preparedness for long-term care facility residents into their emergency preparedness planning.
The federal government has tasked agencies such as the Administration on Aging (AOA) with developing these Model Policies and Procedures for consideration by State Units on Aging (SUA) and Ombudsman programs to ensure that the intent of disaster preparedness plans are carried out. These investigatory programs also serve to represent the interests of residents relating to governmental matters.
The Model Practices and Procedures and other similar federal regulations mandate that residents be provided services to protect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents. Nursing facilities who are not in compliance with these requirements put residents at increased risk of injury and death. In the event you or a member of your family is injured as a result of a nursing facility’s lack of adequate emergency response and disaster preparedness planning, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Will Fight for Your Family
Despite these regulations, you or a family member may be living in a nursing home that does not have a clear plan in place to effectively manage various types of emergencies. When a facility doesn’t meet the standards for disaster preparedness for nursing homes, the likelihood of serious injuries and deaths during an emergency increase. If you or your family has been injured by an underprepared nursing facility, help is available.
No one should have to face a nursing home injury alone. If you or a loved one was injured by a long-term care facility’s lack of adherence to emergency preparedness standards, you have rights. A nursing home lawyer could make all the difference in the outcome of your claim. Some of the services that we provide our injury clients include:
- Traveling to you, if necessary.
- Substantiating your claim with competent evidence.
- Documenting all relevant dates and details.
- Reviewing medical records.
- Arranging for you to obtain medical treatment.
- Interviewing and deposing witnesses.
- Hiring medical experts.
- Obtaining a settlement on your behalf.
- Filing a lawsuit and argue on your behalf in court.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will fight zealously to help you recover compensation. Nursing homes often settle abuse claims by compensating victims out of court. This can be an ideal result for both victims and nursing facilities, as it avoids the major expenses and long delays to resolution that often accompany a trial. However, we will pursue your claim in court, if necessary.
We represent our clients with injury claims on a contingent fee basis. This means that there are no upfront costs or fees to pay, unless we recover money for you. In most states, the time that you have to pursue your claim after the abuse occurs is limited by law. So, do not wait to contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 to discuss your case.