There were legislative hearings recently regarding assisted living concerns in California. Lawmakers were told that complaints to the Department of Public Health and Social Services about assisted living facilities are being closed without proper investigation. Advocates claimed that penalties against violators are weak and take a long time to be imposed. According to advocates, when potential crimes against seniors are reported to state authorities they are routinely processed as administrative violations and rarely sent to prosecutors. California elder abuse attorneys are well aware of the systemic problems with the reporting of elder abuse cases.
The hearings were called for by legislators after a series of reports published by U-T San Diego shed light on the growing problems associated with assisted living complaints. The investigation revealed that more than twenty deaths in San Diego are assisted living facilities were the result of abuse or neglect. The reports also stated that the Department of Social Services police has not made an arrest since 2004. Other notable news organizations such as Frontline and The Center for Investigative Reporting have also published investigations into neglect and abuse in assisted living facilities. The recent wave of disturbing reports about conditions inside assisted living facilities prompted the legislature to call for hearings on the subject. California elder abuse attorneys are glad that this issue is getting more attention.
Advocates informed lawmakers that state regulators failed to respond to complaints in a prompt or professional manner. Witnesses stated that the pressure on investigators to close cases is relentless. There were also complaints about lack of access to information about assisted living facilities because the computer system used by regulators is outdated. A representative for California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform said that the enforcement system creates no accountability. The Director of Social Services acknowledged that there are deep problems at the agency. Among the problems was a recent case of patients being abandoned at a Castro Valley assisted living facility. California elder abuse attorneys would like to see a change in the way that assisted living complaints are investigated.
Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles elder abuse, financial elder abuse, physical elder abuse, annuity fraud, consumer fraud class actions, insurance and banking fraud cases. If you think that you have witnessed or are the victim of elder abuse, or financial fraud then contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 for a free and confidential consultation, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org