Articles Tagged with san diego elder care attorney

victor-garcia-718191-unsplash-copy-200x300Discussions about the use of cameras in nursing homes in Orange County and throughout Southern California have become common as lawmakers, safety advocates, and family members seek innovative solutions to prevent nursing home abuse and neglect and to gain evidence to hold perpetrators accountable. Yet, are cameras in residents’ rooms the best way to stop nursing home abuse, or are there significant ethical issues that we need to consider before we decide that the benefits of “granny cams,” as these cameras are commonly called, outweigh their limitations? 

A recent article in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News addresses the ethics of “granny cams” in nursing homes and suggests that more research needs to be done concerning these tools before they become widespread.

Are Nursing Home Cameras Ethical, or do They Invade Residents’ Privacy?

peter-hershey-282615-copy-300x200Several months ago, we told you about proposed legislation designed to protect LGBTQ seniors from nursing home abuse in long-term care facilities. That proposed legislation, Senate Bill 219 (SB 219), has now been approved by the California Legislature, according to a recent article in San Diego Gay & Lesbian News. Older adults who identify as LGBTQ can face many forms of nursing home abuse and neglect that stem from prejudice and discriminatory behavior.

We want to give you a brief reminder about the proposed law and what it is designed to do, as well as to give you some more information about what it will take for it to become law.

Protections for LGBTQ Seniors Against Discrimination and Nursing Home Abuse

If there is a shortage of home health aides in Vista and other areas of Southern California, how will such a shortage impact nursing home neglect in the state? According to a recent article in The Washington Post, there is a rising shortage of home health aides in California and across the country. Such a shortage could result in more instances of elder neglect within the homes of seniors, and at the same time, it could result in more elderly patients moving into nursing homes that are already understaffed. As such, the shortage in home health aides could also lead to more instances of nursing home neglect in facilities throughout the country.

Why is there such a significant shortage of home health aides? What can families do to help prevent instances of elder neglect?

Low Wages and Lack of Incentive senior ombudsman programs are helping to ensure that nursing home patients receive care tailored to their needs, in San Diego County and across the state of California. According to a recent article in the Moorpark Acorn, these volunteer ombudsman programs in certain parts of the state might actually serving as a check for parts of the elder care industry that are not as attuned to the individual needs of patients. The article explores the specific volunteer senior ombudsman program in Ventura County that is currently overseen by the county’s Long Term Care Services. As of early 2017, the ombudsman program has advocated for the needs and rights of about 8,500 patients in Southern California’s assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, other facilities.

Could more ombudsman programs be a partial solution when it comes to preventing nursing home abuse and neglect?

What is an Ombudsman?

Patch_of_the_San_Diego_Police_DepartmentLaw enforcement officials are often in a unique position to recognize signs and symptoms of elder abuse in the San Diego area. Yet, as an article from In Public Safety points out, police officers frequently are not sufficiently trained in recognize nursing home abuse and neglect, and as such they inadvertently miss the symptoms that could help to prevent future injuries and, in some cases, deaths. Since nursing home abuse cases also can coincide with calls concerning assault and domestic violence, it is important for law enforcement officers to be trained to recognize the signs of elder abuse.

Getting Law Enforcement Officials in California Involved in Elder Abuse Awareness

One of the first things we can do, the article suggests, to change the ways in which police officers evaluate whether someone has been the victim of elder abuse is to require specific training about nursing home abuse and neglect. In our state, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) does have required training for mandatory reporters, but not all law enforcement officials understand the extent of elder abuse in the community and the ways that we can work together to help prevent it.

Many of us know that nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs) in California made national news over the last year for undesirable reasons related to elder abuse and neglect. Even more recently, an audit report exposed serious elder abuse investigation delays within the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Now, according to an article in the Pasadena Star News, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department has been accused of falsifying the dates on which it received complaints about nursing home abuse.

Why would the department do this? According to two employees, pressure had increased to “meet state deadlines for launching investigations,” and when the department couldn’t comply, it changed the dates of the complaints it had received.

Allegations of Abuse, Falls, and Pressure Sores

We recently discussed the growing problem of severe and fatal injuries resulting from falls among the elderly population, as reported in an article in the New York Times. As most of us know, falls are a type of preventable injury. But what, precisely, can we do to prevent older adults from falling? And should residents in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities undergo greater education about the risks and dangers of falls?


Education About Fall-Related Accident Prevention

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released statistics showing that the number of fall-related deaths and life-threatening injuries has risen drastically over the last decade, a number of facilities for the elderly began to think about ways to prevent falls and to ensure that elderly residents aren’t being neglected.

It’s no secret that California assisted living facilities have been in the national news due to reports of nursing home abuse and neglect.  Indeed, over the last year, elder rights advocates have emphasized the need to make information about nursing homes and assisted living facilities readily available to older adults and their loved ones.  Without such information at our fingertips, how will we know which facilities are safe and can provide a high quality of care for our elderly parents?  According to a recent story from KPBS San Diego Public Radio, this kind of information remains pretty difficult to access.

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Lacking Internet Information About California Assisted Living Facilities

According to the recent KPBS story, it’s not easy to access information about the quality of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Southern California.  For example, Lorid Macri’s mother suffers from dementia, she told KPBS.  At the beginning, Macri cared for her mother.  However, the stress of caring for a dementia patient became “overwhelming.”  And when Macri herself needed hospital care, she realized she needed to find an assisted living facility where her mother could receive quality care.

With more than two out of five Americans caring for their aging parents—many of whom do so because they cannot afford to pay for other elder assistance—it’s often difficult to find time for both work and caregiving.  Indeed, according to a recent article in Forbes, many children who act as caregivers worry that, without assistance from their employers, their aging parents may face nursing home neglect.  Lately, however, more employers are “now providing help for employees who feel that they just have to ‘suck it up’ in managing this care and their careers.”

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What’s the relationship between elder abuse and workplace assistance?  Many factors could play into this correlation, including:

  •      When employees don’t have time to properly locate elder care resources, they make uninformed decisions about nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, or even in-home nurses.  Help from an employer can mean the difference between a care facility with a strong patient record and one with a history of nursing home abuse violations.

We live in an age of technology, yet the elder care industry doesn’t seem to have taken notice.  According to a recent article in Forbes, the internet and other digital tools may be able to improve the quality of elder care, and to attend to matters of elder abuse and neglect across the country.  We mentioned a recent story about elder financial abuse and online mapping.  This is only one of the tools that may help our older loved ones in the years to come.

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Taking care of our elderly loved ones will be especially important in the coming years as the large number of Americans who make up the baby boomer generation grow old and require care in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.  While none of us likes to believe that nursing home neglect is a problem that can affect our loved ones, recent news stories throughout California suggest that elder abuse is a problem that afflicts many people.  As a result, it’s important to contact a nursing home abuse attorney if you suspect that your elderly loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect.

High Costs of Elder Care

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