Long Beach Residential Care Facility Abuse Lawyers
Abuse at Long Beach Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly
As the Baby Boom generation ages, more of them are entering Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, or RCFEs. RCFEs - also referred to as assisted living facilities, retirement homes, or care homes - provide rooms, meals, supervision, and assistance to people over 60 who can’t or prefer not to live on their own. Unlike nursing homes, RCFEs are non-medical facilities, meaning they aren’t necessarily staffed by trained medical personnel. There are currently an estimated 7,500 licensed RCFEs in the state of California, which are regulated by the state’s Department of Social Services. While many of these facilities are well-run and staffed with compassionate caregivers, there are some where elder abuse and neglect occur. According to a study by the National Center on Elder Abuse involving interviews with 2,000 assisted care residents, 44 percent said they had suffered abuse and 95 percent said they had been neglected or seen another resident neglected.
If you have a loved one living in an RCFE and suspect they’re being neglected or abused, you need to contact an experienced and compassionate Long Beach elder abuse attorney. Since 2002, Long Beach attorney Travis Siegel of Siegel Law has made it his mission to fight against elder abuse and neglect. Call (562) 645-4145 for a free consultation.
RCFEs vs. Nursing Homes
As we mentioned earlier, RCFEs are not considered medical facilities. However, nursing homes, or Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF), are considered medical facilities. Here are a few other ways RCFEs and SNFs differ:
- RCFEs are licensed by the California Department of Social Services, while SNFs are licensed by the California Department of Public Health.
- SNFs must be staffed by professional nurses 24 hours a day, whereas RCFEs are not required to be staffed by nurses.
- SNFs have a required patient-to-staff ratio, RCFEs do not.
- SNF staff can dispense and administer medications, RCFE staff can only store and distribute medications to residents for self-administration.
Problems the Elderly Face in Assisted Living Facilities
Elderly people in assisted living facilities face many issues, including loneliness, boredom, neglect, and abuse. If a loved one in an RCFE is experiencing such issues, there are ways you can help. For boredom and loneliness, you can visit them often if you live nearby. If you are unable to visit often, find a facility that has regular activities for its residents. Many facilities now offer pet therapy, or actually allow pets to live at the facility.
Abuse and neglect are harder issues to deal with, but they are very important to address. If you feel that your loved one is in immediate danger, call 911 to notify local police and get the victim the medical care he or she needs. This will also help document the extent of the abuse. If the danger is not immediate but you suspect the abuse or neglect is taking place, call Adult Protective Services at (877) 477-3646 or (877) 4-R-SENIORS. You may also want to contact your long-term care ombudsman. It would also be a good idea to contact an experienced elder abuse attorney to find out if you have grounds for a lawsuit against the facility where the abuse occurred. Long Beach attorney Travis Siegel of Siegel Law has spent over a decade advocating on the behalf of elderly abuse victims and their families.
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