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The Law Says California Nursing Homes Must Provide Proper Care

Garcia & Artigliere

Nursing home patients deserve good care. In California, that’s not just a statement that is morally true; it is also the law. Various state and federal regulations and laws spell out the standards of care California nursing homes are required to meet.

In some cases, these laws apply only to nursing homes that receive payments from Medicare or Medi-Cal. However, since most nursing homes in California do receive payments from at least one of these sources, the standards described below are likely to apply. If you have a loved one who is a resident in a California nursing home and you ever have any questions about what laws are in force for his or her home, a nursing home abuse attorney can help.

That said, this is a summary of the laws and regulations that govern how residents of nursing homes should be treated. California nursing homes must:

  • Have adequate staff and provide at least 3.2 hours of nursing care for each resident every day.
  • Have a care plan for each resident.
  • Give appropriate treatment to residents who are incontinent. Residents who need help using the toilet must be given assistance. Catheters should not be used unless medically necessary.
  • Use feeding tubes only if there are no other alternatives.
  • Provide proper care to prevent pressure sores.
  • Take action to limit the risk of falls.
  • Make sure that patients have enough liquids and, when necessary, help them to drink.
  • Follow detailed rules on nutrition and meals. These include serving meals at least three times a day; providing nutritious, balanced, palatable and attractively presented meals; posting menus weekly; providing assistance in eating when needed; maintaining sanitary conditions for food preparation, storage and service; and taking residents’ cultural backgrounds into account when planning meals.
  • Follow detailed rules for controlling infections.
  • Follow detailed rules on medications, including rules on consent; prohibitions on providing unnecessary drugs; restrictions on certain drugs; rules on who can administer medications and on the maximum allowable error rate; and quality control requirements.
  • Provide appropriate assistance in tasks of daily living and provide appropriate personal care.
  • Allow residents or their representatives to choose their own physician. The physician must evaluate the resident at least once every 30 days and must review all aspects of care the nursing home provides to the resident.
  • Provide certain specialized services, rehabilitative services, and therapy when needed.
  • Help residents retain a range of motion.
  • Help residents get dental, vision and hearing care.

If you ever suspect that a loved one is being abused or is not being given proper care in a California nursing home, a nursing home abuse attorney at Garcia & Artigliere can help. Call (800) 328-2630for a free, no-obligation consultation.


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