California Elder Abuse Laws Protect Nursing Home Residents
Nursing homes are meant to provide a safe place for the elderly to live while being cared for by staff, but abuse and neglect sometimes occur in these settings. National Center on Elder Abuse states that roughly seven percent of complaints filed against nursing homes and other institutional facilities for seniors have involved exploitation, neglect or abuse. Fortunately, the government has implemented elder abuse laws that help protect seniors in these facilities throughout California.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
The first step in protecting the rights of nursing home residents in California through elder abuse laws was taken in the 1970s with the founding of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program by Administration on Aging. Ombudsmen are responsible for looking into violations of residents’ rights in nursing homes and other elder care facilities. When issues occur, ombudsmen meet with residents, their family members, and facility staff to try and work out a solution. If issues keep coming up, an ombudsman has the authority to launch an investigation.
Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987
Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 (NHRA) also gave legal protection to nursing home residents in California. Under NHRA, elderly residents living in nursing homes have guaranteed rights to privacy and uncensored speech. They also have the right to file formal complaints without being afraid of the nursing home facility retaliating against them, as well as the right to provide input into the quality of care they are receiving there. NHRA also established certain services that nursing home facilities are required to provide to all residents, including food, water, medications, rehabilitation, social workers and care plans based on each resident’s personal needs.
Nursing Home Care Violations
California nursing home residents who have been victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation have the right to get in touch with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program to look into any issues that are occurring. Nursing home abuse attorneys can also provide legal help by determining whether or not residents or their family members should file a civil lawsuit against the nursing home facility if violations of elder abuse laws have occurred.
If you or a loved one has experienced elder abuse, please contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at the Law Offices of Garcia & Artigliere at (800) 328-2630 for legal assistance.