Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
Serious Cases Underreported
A recent federal investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services disclosed that more than 25 percent of serious nursing home abuse incidents are never reported to law enforcement agencies. Unreported cases include cases where the nursing home resident’s injuries were so severe that the resident required hospital emergency room treatment. The national findings were so alarming that the Department issued an emergency alert on the issue.
The nursing home abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent victims of nursing home abuse in California and understand the seriousness of the Department’s emergency alert. If you or someone you know is suffering from nursing home abuse in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call the nursing home abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm today at 415-441-8669, and we can help.
Under federal regulations, any suspected abuse or neglect that causes serious bodily injury must be reported to local authorities within two hours of discovery. If the victim does not suffer serious injury, the incident must be reported within 24 hours. Nursing homes that fail to abide by these requirements can be fined for up to $300,000. Nursing homes that receive Medicaid or Medicare funds must comply with the reporting requirements and can be subject to the fines, which are enforced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Sadly, the Trump Administration is pulling back on the CMS protocols for fines.
However, California also has reporting requirements and can levy fines though in significantly smaller amounts. California’s Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman has jurisdiction for investigating reports of abuse that occur in nursing homes, residential care facilities for the elderly, adult residential facilities, intermediate care facilities, adult day health care facilities, and adult day programs. Calif. Welf. & Inst.. Code Section 15630 et seq.
Protecting Yourself And Your Loved Ones
As a loved one of a senior in a nursing home, keep a close eye on the care and medications your loved one receives. Visit your loved one as often as you can and watch for any signs that something might be wrong. Signs of abuse may include:
- Bruising, scars or welts seen on the body.
- Unusual behavior, nervousness, withdrawal or prolonged silence.
- Failure to take medications properly or refusal of medication.
- Any signs of physical restraint.
- Broken eyeglasses.
- Refusal of a caregiver to let you be alone with the elderly person.
You know your senior loved one best and may find other reasons for suspicions. Always inform the nursing home administration of your suspicions and insist that any abuse you suspect occurred be reported. While a report to law enforcement and the Ombudsman are always important, always consult with a nursing home abuse attorney, such as the attorneys at Evans Law Firm, to pursue all available remedies for the victim and his or her family.
If you or a loved one is or has been the victim of nursing home abuse in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid Evans and the other nursing home abuse attorneys at the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. 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.