Elder Care Advocate Seeks Changes to California Nursing Home Law

One of the main challenges faced by victims of San Diego nursing home abuse is the difficulty in identifying and documenting specific instances of poor care. Many area nursing home residents do not understand their right to receive proper care or recognize when they have received substandard treatment. Even when they are aware of negligence by employees, many seniors and their families are unsure what they should do to document the problem. elder%20hands.jpg

Documentation is often important in these matters, because judges, juries, and state regulatory bodies often rely on a paper trail to understand the sort of care that a resident received. Unfortunately, there remain lax standards when it comes to keeping track of reports of San Diego nursing home neglect. The problem exists throughout the state as facilities in all corners of California are currently not required to document when a resident or family member files a complaint suggesting substandard treatment.

One local advocate is seeking to change that, and is urging that the state pass legislation which would force nursing homes to keep track of neglect and abuse charges. The North Country Times reported on the legislative push last month. The effort is being spearheaded by Lynda Tammone, an area resident who became frustrated after her husband received substandard treatment while spending a year in a nearby nursing home following sudden health problems.

A former emergency medical technician, Mrs. Tammone carefully documented the care her husband received while at the facility. She found at least 27 separate instances of mistreatment including staff member’s failure to act on low blood sugar levels, failure to assess skin tears and abrasions, and failure to document skin problems on weekly reports. She eventually sent a letter to the California Department of Public Health explaining the problem. While the state department ultimately substantiated some of those claims, many other were deemed unsubstantiated because of documentation deficiencies.

State inspectors explained that many allegations cannot be proven if they are not mentioned in a patient’s medical record. Therefore, if a facility fails to keep proper medical records of health problems or care complaints, then many genuine claims will go uncorrected by state officials. This apparent loophole is what is spurring Mrs. Tammone to seek legislative changes in the hopes of catching more instances of California nursing home neglect.
The bill likely faces strong opposition in the state legislature as large nursing home interests are likely to vehemently oppose efforts to keep track of care complaints. If these logs were kept, then elder care advocates would be able to more clearly show how a facility had notice of a certain problem and then failed to take corrective action.

Our San Diego nursing home neglect lawyer is well versed in the way that proper documentation is used to provide justice to families harmed by nursing home abuse and neglect. One of the main ways that an attorney aids in these situations is by understanding what facts are relevant in the legal system and knowing how such facts can be proven to a judge or jury. In the nursing home context, this includes recognizing the records that help prove a claim and identifying where evidence of poor treatment can be found. If you or a loved one may have been injured because of poor care, please visit a legal professional to learn how the truth about the treatment can be uncovered and reported.

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