Elders residing in nursing care and residential care facilities often do not receive the care you would expect. Many residents are abused or neglected. They contract illnesses, suffer from untreated wounds that become infections, and in severe cases, they may die.
One of the main causes of nursing home abuse and neglect is a direct result of a nursing home’s deliberate choice to understaff its facilities. Most nursing homes are profit driven. This means that they will cut corners in order to insure that they are profitable. One of their methods is to only employ the minimum amount of people necessary for the nursing home to function, even if the level of functioning is subpar at best.
What is the result? Patients pay for services they aren’t receiving, employees are paid (usually not very much) but have too many patients to handle, and who’s left to benefit? The nursing home facility at both the monetary and physical expense of its elderly patients.
California has strict nursing home staffing requirements. The law requires that nursing homes administer a minimum of 3 hours and 12 minutes of direct care for each patient. Failure to provide the minimum care required results in nursing home patients who are neglected – they may be left in soiled linens for hours or even days at a time, or they are not repositioned. The body cannot withstand sustained pressure for long periods of time, since circulation to parts of the body will be cut off. This increases the risk of developing painful bed sores, a fate that no one should have to endure and can easily be avoided.
If you suspect that your loved one is receiving inadequate care due to elder care understaffing, here’s a few things you can do.
- Report the understaffing to your local ombudsman. Ombudsmen serve as advocates for nursing home residents. Contact the California Department of Aging for the name and number of the long term care ombudsman program nearest you.
- Also, you can contact your county Adult Protective Services (APS). APS is responsible for investigating complaints of abuse, exploitation and neglect of adults who are elderly or disabled. A list of Adult Protective Services’ contact information organized by California county is provided here.
- Contact the Department of Public Health and file a complaint with the Licensing Division at 1-800-236-9747.
Of course, York Law Firm can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. We know both the Federal and California laws pertaining to nursing home abuse and neglect and will apply them strategically to bolster your claim.
If you have any questions or concerns about the care your loved one is receiving in a nursing home or residential care facility, please contact Wendy York at York Law Firm to get more information at 916-643-2200 or contact us online. York Law Firm helps nursing home residents and their families to stop elder neglect and to hold nursing homes accountable. We are dedicated to representing elders and dependent adults who have been neglected or abused.