Regulation and the Nursing Home Industry
How California Regulates Nursing Homes
One increasing concern for seniors and their relatives is that they find a nursing home or CCRS that will not only fit their medical requirements and budget, but that also has a clean record from state regulators. As the nursing home industry inflates to meet the needs of a growing senior population, the elderly and elder advocates are seeing a certain class of chain-operated nursing homes come into existence. These nursing homes operate like fast-food franchises, and are frequently under-staffed and over-worked. Also like fast-food franchises, they are frequently cited for non-compliance with regulations.
Complaint and Punishment
Unfortunately, the Department of Public Health seems to do a better job censuring burger joints than it does nursing facilities. A recent state audit has come to the conclusion that failed to adequately investigate and resolve complaints made to their office regarding nursing homes, CCRCs, and skilled nursing facilities. This state of affairs has left over 11,000 open complaints, some of which have remained open for over a year. The DPH reports that nearly half of these complaints can or have resulted in harm coming to senior residents of a home, and yet many of these investigations have also stalled out.
Because of the deficiencies of the system, low-quality, hazardous nursing homes are allowed to remain open despite alarming numbers of pending complaints, a history of failing to obey the law, and expensive premiums paid by the government and by seniors and their families. Our Alameda nursing home abuse attorneys have seen instances where these facilities can result in serious injury, both physical and financial, and in some cases, may even end in death. Because of the high stakes of such decisions, and the lack of meaningful oversight, it has unfortunately fallen to seniors and their families to investigate and make conclusions about the best nursing home and CCRC choices for their loved ones.
Resources and Allies
Thankfully, there are organizations and resources that can help families choose nursing homes. Organizations like CANHR, the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform haveguides for those looking for a trustworthy facility. Our Alameda nursing home abuse attorneys believe that the most important step to take to protect seniors is to stay involved. Isolated seniors are the ones most susceptible to abuse, and without their friends and relatives coming to visit, nursing homes can become less hospitable places for seniors to stay.
If you or a loved one has experienced nursing home abuse in California, contact the Evans Law Firm nursing home abuse attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.