Elderly persons are among the most vulnerable citizens and often face abuse and neglect while living in a nursing home. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately 22 percent of nursing home residents are subjected to abuse and 21 percent are neglected. But The Oklahoma Long Term Care Security Act, which took effect at the beginning of March, aims to protect the elderly from facing harm at the hands of the caregiver. Under state and federal regulations, nursing homes are required to conduct background checks on the staff members they hire. The purpose is to weed out any staff members who have abused or financially exploited a patient in the past. But these background checks are often not comprehensive enough to determine if a potential new employee has a propensity towards abuse or violence.
The new law requires that nursing homes in Oklahoma to conduct finger-print based background checks before they hire a new employee that will have direct contact with a resident or patient. This applies to all institutions that provide healthcare, according to KOCO-TV.