In Georgia, a personal care home (PCH) is defined as a facility that provides assistance with the activities of daily living to at least two unrelated residents. Georgia requires that every owner/operator of a personal care home obtain a license for the business. There are also many regulatory requirements related to personal care homes that must be fulfilled by the owner/operator.
Find a building in a suitable location for your personal care home.
Secure funding for the initial operation of the home.
Develop an administrative hierarchy for the home that includes at least one administrator/owner and an operations manager that works under that person.
Prepare a Statement of Administrative Policies and Procedures covering the structure and function of the home and delineating all possible actions of residents and staff that are considered unacceptable behavior for the PCH.
Hire enough qualified health professionals and staff members to handle the number of residents your PCH is intended for.
Develop a disaster preparedness/evacuation plan for the residents in the event of a fire or severe storm. Disaster preparedness drills must be performed at least semi-annually.
Establish a telephone connection for the personal care home with a currently listed telephone number and several working phones.
Conduct a criminal background check by an authorized company of all individuals who will be working at the PCH, including the owners and administrators.
Purchase all necessary medical equipment, furniture, maintenance supplies, technical equipment and any other items that you will need to operate the facility.
Apply for a permit as a personal care home with the Georgia Department of Community Health. All of the documents from Steps 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 must be submitted with the permit application. Submit to a subsequent inspection and review of the PCH that may take several days.
Grants, government loans, bank loans and personal sources are the usual types of funding that business owners seek. Funding will go toward fixing up the home, purchasing furniture and supplies, and hiring workers for any other services needed.
PCHs must meet both state and local zoning and building regulations. They must also meet the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act. They must not be located near hazardous areas (landfills, chemical plants, etc.). They must be near a fire hydrant and accessible by road. Also, there are other considerations that are not legally required, but should still be addressed. (Is the area safe? Is it a quiet neighborhood? Is it near a local park?)
Qualified staff usually includes at least one nurse and one maintenance person. There must be at least one staff person for every 15 residents. All staff and administrators must be at least 21. Employees must receive training in CPR, emergency evacuation, residents' rights and the Long-Term Care Resident Abuse Reporting Act.
Personal care homes require an abundance of supplies and materials for proper operation. (See Reference section.)
Provisional permits are available that will be valid for a period of 30 days, six months or 12 months while the owners are bringing the PCH up to code and meeting all regulations.
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