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How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in California

— January 11, 2022

It’s important that you continuously document the abuse you notice with the proper details.

Discovering that a loved one has been the victim of abuse in a nursing home facility can be shocking. We trust these facilities to treat our loved ones with the utmost respect and care, and when this is not done, the consequences can be fatal. If you’ve discovered your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, there are some important steps that you must take. Here we go over the signs of abuse and neglect and how to report nursing home abuse in California.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

According to the National Council on Aging, there are multiple types of abuse prevalent in nursing homes across the United States. The different types of abuse include: physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, confinement, and neglect. Identifying nursing home abuse can be hard. But there are some signs that can help you recognize it.

Physical abuse can be one of the easier forms to discover and some signs include: 

  • Weight loss
  • Cuts, sores, and bruises
  • Bed sores
  • Poor hygiene

Emotional abuse is much harder to identify. Signs of emotional abuse can include: 

  • Changes in behavior
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Irregular sleeping patterns

Physical and emotional abuse unfortunately does occur in nursing home facilities and once this abuse is realized, it’s important to take the proper steps in reporting the neglect and abuse.

Image of an elderly woman
Image of an elderly woman; image courtesy of geralt via Pixabay,

Reporting Nursing Home Abuse

First, it’s important that you continuously document the abuse you notice with the proper details. Once you realize that the abuse is continuous and ongoing, you should discuss your findings and concerns with the facility’s supervisor. The nursing home facility should offer to investigate your concerns. Unless you feel that the residents’ lives could be in danger, speaking with the facility’s administration is the best first step to take. If you do feel like someone’s life is in danger, you should call 911 immediately. 

If after discussing your concerns you’ve noticed that the conditions have not improved, you need to file a complaint with the California Department of Public Health. Within 48 hours of your report, an investigator should be assigned to your case. Depending on your case, you may also want to file a report with the Division of Medi-Cal Fraud & Elder Abuse. You can do so through California’s Office of the Attorney General. 

Consult With an Attorney

Discovering nursing home abuse is a serious matter that can be complicated to navigate. Even if you have taken the proper steps of reporting the abuse, consulting with an attorney is always a good option. A California nursing home abuse attorney can help you navigate the reporting process and potentially get you and your loved one the compensation and justice you deserve.  

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