Nearly 100 Assisted Living Facilities in California Face Shutdown
While many assisted living and nursing homes throughout California offer excellent care and support for elderly residents, there are some facilities that fail to take care of their residents.
By June 2017, the California Department of Social Services had put 48 assisted-living facilities on probation and shut down 46 more. The licenses of these centers were revoked for horrifying incidents: in one case, a 92-year-old was discovered beaten to death in her room.
It’s difficult to choose a facility for your loved one with news like this. In the end, it is best to trust your instincts, and if you feel that something is wrong, contact local law enforcement and an experienced elder abuse attorney.
Why Do Facilities Get Shut Down?
While the specific reasons an assisted-living facility gets shut down can vary from one situation to another, it generally comes down to a failure to follow laws and guidelines established by the California Department of Social Services. Minor violations typically result in penalties such as fines, while more serious offenses lead to being placed on probation. When this happens, the facility is allowed to continue operating but must make certain improvements and follow stricter rules to stay operational.
For example, an assisted-living facility on probation may have to pay for its employees to receive additional training to offset the conditions that caused an infraction. The facility may need to hire additional workers to make sure all of its residents are cared for properly; and Social Services will visit to make sure these orders are followed properly. Failure to make the required corrections can lead to the state closing down a facility.
What You Should Look for When Choosing Assisted Living
Choosing an assisted living facility for an elderly loved one is no simple task, but there are a few things to keep in mind before making a choice. Make sure you visit the facility, and ask questions about the number of staff members employed, including medical nurses. You should ask when the doctors are present; to make sure your loved one can receive the care he or she needs. The Department of Social Services website also includes a tool that lets you search for facilities and see any reports filed against them.
If You Suspect Abuse, Take Action Immediately!
Once you have selected a home for your loved one, watch for possible signs of abuse when you visit. New injuries, sudden changes in behavior including signs of fear and distress, and sudden weight loss can all be indicators of abuse or negligence. If you suspect that your loved one is not being treated properly, contact Adult Protective Services immediately. You should then contact us at Siegel Law at 562-645-4145. Tell us about your situation, and we can discuss your options to protect the ones you love.