There are many skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) throughout California. Finding one that fits your loved one’s needs can be challenging. A major concern for many families is quality care — and more specifically, keeping loved ones safe from nursing home abuse. SNF patients have numerous rights to protect them against mistreatment.
If you notice something odd or suspect that your loved one has fallen victim to nursing home abuse, you have a right to question staff members and administrators and to launch a full investigation if necessary. You can also enlist outside support from patient advocates, law enforcement agencies or legal representatives.
Nursing home abuse should never take place
There is no excuse for substandard care or nursing home abuse in an SNF in this state or any other. A patient has a right to quality care and is protected with the rights shown in the following list:
- The right to be free from discrimination
- The right to a safe environment
- The right to be free of restraint, unless medically necessary
- The right to manage one’s own money or to issue a financial power of attorney
- The right to privacy
- The right to medical care
- The right to have visitors
- The right to file a complaint
- The right to protection against unlawful transfer or eviction
Since you can’t be with your loved one around the clock, it is important to closely observe his or her mental and physical condition, as well as the overall environment at the SNF and the way staff members behave in your presence. It is also helpful to ask questions if you correspond with your loved one by phone, text messaging or virtual chats. If something doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts and investigate further.
Helping a loved one recover from nursing home abuse
Sadly, there have been many fatalities in California and across the country in connection with nursing home abuse incidents. By taking swift action to investigate suspicious issues, you may be saving your loved one’s life. If your family member has suffered injury or illness because of mistreatment in an SNF, he or she can seek financial recovery for damages.
Liability for nursing home abuse may extend beyond one staff member. SNF administrators and others who have an obligation to keep your loved one safe and failed may also be accountable for their actions in civil court. Every nursing home patient deserves respect and care in accordance with state laws and accepted safety standards of the industry.