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Feb 19, 2014 by |

2014 Nursing Home Reform Package

California legislators have recently proposed several new measures that aim to improve conditions in nursing and assisted living homes across the country. After a few public disasters that left several of the state’s most vulnerable residents in deplorable living conditions, lawmakers are working to ensure that California’s largest age group is receiving proper care. Nursing home abuse lawyers in San Francisco are welcoming the proposed laws, and say that the reform is long overdue.

The catalyst for the legislators’ action plan is the horrible situation that investigators uncovered last year, in Valley Springs Manor. After the state closed down the assisted living home in Castro Valley, the elderly residents were left, for the most part, without homes to move into. As managers and caretakers left the facility, residents were left in the care of one cook and a janitor, both of whom lacked even basic medical training. Investigators who finally responded to the two staff members’ repeated 911 calls found that the residents were in desperate need of assistance. This long drawn out issue raised questions about just how well California is doing in protecting its older residents.

Nursing home abuse lawyers in San Francisco hope that the reform packages will change all this, and bring the state’s standards to a new level designed to offer care and comfort to nursing home residents. The proposed residential-care-facility reform package is comprised of more than a dozen bills that range from regulating standards of care and living conditions, and placing more accountability on both facility owners and the state’s Department of Social Services. If this reform goes through, fewer places like Valley Springs Manor will be able to operate so poorly, undetected by state officials. Instead, regular inspections and follow-ups to correct problems will be implemented, ensuring that no rundown or substandard facilities fall through the cracks.

The new reform bills proposed by lawmakers have been backed by the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), as a much-needed overhaul to the state’s current system. One of the key pieces in the reform movement is a bill sponsored by State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett. Her legislation would make it mandatory for all assisted-care facilities to undergo an annual inspection, instead of the current schedule—an inspection every five years. Senator Mark Leno and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, who act as budget chairs for each house, are also putting forth bills to eliminate problems in nursing homes across the state.

Leno also plans to introduce a measure that will bar assisted-living homes from taking in new residents, if the facility has failed to address previous violations of safety and health codes, or has outstanding fines for substandard care or condition. Gov. Jerry Brown has recommended that the state plan to add an extra $7.5 million to the existing budget, along with 71.5 positions for community care licensing, to help correct the current problem.

At the Evans Law Firm, our nursing home abuse lawyers work to protect clients in the San Francisco bay area from these levels of abuse. If you have questions about your rights in an assisted living or nursing home, contact a San Francisco nursing home abuse lawyer at 415-441-8669 or for a consultation today.

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