Georgia's Good Samaritan law helps seniors

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The story from that California independent living center sparked a lot of questions across the country, but Officials at a south Georgia senior living center tell us they would always do everything possible to help a resident in a medical emergency.

Still, people may be asking "how do I know if my loved one is safe," or "how do I know they'll be able to get help if they need it?"

Georgians, seniors residing at the Century Pines & Evergreen Senior Living center can just sit back and tack it easy without worrying about who will care for them. That's because their assisted living home doesn't have the same rules as a California nursing home restricting staff from performing CPR.

"I'm shocked," said Denise Wang, Executive Administrator from Century Pines and Evergreen Senior Living. "I don't know why someone would not do anything possible. If they're afraid of a lawsuit, that's not a good enough excuse for why would not help somebody," she said.

Wang says the seniors under her care shouldn't worry about receiving proper treatment and hasn't heard of this kind of incident before, and she's not alone.

"I know if I was a patient in a nursing home, and if something would happen to me, I would want them to save me," said Greg Rowe, Director of Dougherty County EMS.

Rowe was surprised by the nurse who refused to perform CPR on an elderly lady because of company policy, which lead to the woman's death. That California independent living center requires staff to wait next to the individual in need of care until help arrives.

"I've never gone anywhere that I can remember where they were just sitting, waiting on us to get there," said Rowe.

So should people be worried about getting sued if you help somebody in need? Not according to Georgia's Good Samaritan law, which protects individuals from liability when lending a helping hand as long as they're not getting paid to help.

Even so, Wong says her seniors shouldn't worry.

"Whatever happens in another location doesn't depict the care that we do," said Wang. "We do more than what's required."

That means the seniors and other Dougherty County seniors can sit back and enjoy the rest of their golden years.

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.