One of the major problems with convalescent homes in 21st century California is the absence of an objective rating system to help guide consumers. For those who have loved ones who are repeatedly asking to know what day it is, or to repeat your name for the tenth time, you know that mental faculties are waning, and that there is a possibility of Alzheimer’s and/or dementia setting in. Sadly, the inevitable is fast approaching, and while you may push it from your mind, reality dictates that it is only a matter of time before you must make the decision to commit your loved one to a nursing home. This is a daunting life decision. How does one confidently proceed to place their only mother (or father) into such a facility, to be cared for and tended to by utter strangers?
At present, there is no official independent register to aid the public in objectively choosing the right nursing home for their loved one; consequently, many are forced to go through the ordeal of trial and error to find the proper fit. However, steps are being taken to address the issue of elder abuse in California. Just this month, California legislators passed a bill entitled The Residential Care Facilities for Elders Reform Act of 2014 (ACT). The legislation is an amendment to the Health & Safety Code that will take effect on July 1, 2015. One of the key provisions of the bill is the mandate that nursing homes carry liability insurance in order to be licensed. This will be the first time all nursing homes will be required to having liability insurance. Other bills involve increasing regulation over nursing homes by requiring more than one inspection every five years, increasing penalties for violations, increased training for all nursing home staff, amongst others.
Another promising development under the new law is a mandatory “Bill of Rights” for elders currently living in nursing homes. While it is an unfortunate affair that a bill of rights is necessary in the first place, if these proposed legislation is signed into law, hopefully the U.S. will see an overall decrease in the rate of elder abuse in nursing homes. While the proposed legislation are a great first step, at the end of the day, it is not the government’s responsibility to care for your loved one, that is the role of family and friends. Carefully examine a nursing home before deciding to place your loved ones in it. U.S. News & World Reports provides rankings and ratings on the best nursing homes in California, as well as nationwide. Visit your loved ones frequently – your presence might just help prevent elder abuse from even happening in the first place. Furthermore, there is no better treatment for these elders in nursing homes than seeing someone truly care for them – even if they don’t recognize you.
If you or someone you know has suffered at the hands of elder abuse in nursing homes, contact The Evans Law Firm, Inc. for a free and confidential consultation at 415-441-8669 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles physical and financial elder abuse, personal injury, banking and insurance fraud, consumer class action fraud, and qui tam (whistleblower/false claims) cases.