Nursing Home and Elder Abuse

The emotionally draining decision to place an elderly loved one into a supervised home or assisted living residence is difficult for everyone involved. While most caretakers are genuinely caring professionals, the heart-wrenching truth is that nursing home and elder abuse is real and has real consequences.

Both federal and state regulations mandate that nursing homes and assisted-living facilities comply with a strict standard of care. These facilities must follow a "Residents Bill of Rights," which states that residents are treated with dignity and respect. Dignity and respect include such rights as receiving proper medical care and being able to live free of any kind of abuse, whether it be verbal, mental, physical, or sexual.

Knowing the legal code surrounding nursing home and elderly abuse cases will help you understand if you might have a case that you can pursue. We will explore some of the laws concerning the rights and responsibilities afforded to nursing home residents and their associated care.

You and Your Loved Ones Have Rights

If you suspect that a senior citizen faces a serious threat of danger, you can begin the process of removing your loved one from the nursing home immediately, by filing a report with your local authorities or Adult Protective Services (APS).

Nursing Home Regulations

Both federal and state regulations mandate that nursing homes and assisted-living facilities comply with a strict standard of care and that these facilities follow a "Resident’s Bill of Rights." These regulations state that residents rights are treated with dignity and respect, such as receiving medical care and that no abuse of any kind is permitted, whether it is verbal, mental, physical, or sexual.

Some laws that protect the elderly are:

  • Social Security Act
  • Nursing Home Reform Act
  • Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
  • Older Americans Act
  • Adult Protective Services
  • Elder Abuse Laws
Legal Claims Against a Nursing Home

There are many civil claims you may be able to pursue against a nursing home or assisted living facility. Some grounds for a lawsuit include negligence, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and breach of contract. Pursuing a civil case will have its own complexities when compared to a criminal case. However, a skilled attorney can advise and counsel you through this process to bring justice to your family, while also providing some compensation.

Pursuing a Settlement for Elder Abuse

There are many factors in filing a lawsuit for elder abuse. A civil nursing home abuse case is different from a criminal case. It is meant to provide some compensation for you or your loved one’s hardships.

One of the first steps in establishing a claim like this is to show that the abuse took place at the nursing home, at the hands of a staff member. From there, the case should be reported to law enforcement or Adult Protective Services for them to begin an investigation. Upon investigation, you should begin the process of examining the evidence pertaining to the case and review with an expert, such as an attorney. A qualified attorney can consult with medical experts and other such relevant personnel in order to determine possible wrongdoing by the nursing home facility.

Nursing Home Laws in California

In California, nursing home laws have been established to meet basic levels of care for elderly residents.

These basic levels of care are:

  • Making sure the elderly resident receives adequate treatment for physical, mental, and medical care.
  • Making sure the elderly resident’s health is maintained or possibly improved, as is reasonably possible.
  • Allowing the elderly resident to have options for healthcare and additional therapies, as available.
California Nursing Homes and Title 22 Licensing

California requires every nursing home to follow the guidelines listed in Title 22. Many cases of elder abuse can be linked back to the code of conduct outlined in Title 22, and an attorney will be able to examine this thoroughly to find possible wrongdoing by the nursing home and the proper legal recourse.

Guidelines Covered by Title 22 are:

  • Quality and health of food provided
  • Quality of personal care provided
  • Nursing home supervision and observation of elderly residents
  • Activities planned for residents
  • Safety of residents in the nursing home
  • Proper medical and dental care provided

Any failure to deliver on the quality of care as stated above would affect the Title 22 certification of a nursing home and greatly jeopardize their reputation.

How an Attorney can Help You

We advocate for our clients to get the best settlement possible. At Bridgewater Law Group, we know many of the strategies used by nursing home companies, and we know how to counter them. Let our attorneys advocate for your case and for your loved ones. We know when a fair settlement is on the table and when there is more to be won. We will fight for the best outcome for your time and family.

No Fee Unless We Win

Your win is our win, and we will not settle for anything else. We will work on a contingency basis, which means there is no cost to you. With nothing to lose, you have everything to gain.

Our consultants are available to speak 24/7/365. Give us a call today for a free consultation. In less than 30 minutes, we will know if we can win together with you.

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