People in California who want the best for their elderly loved ones know that they have to be vigilant about the care they are receiving from nursing homes and other facilities. It is an unfortunate truth that nursing home injuries and neglect are a pervasive problem in California, which is why people with loved ones in such facilities need to have all the information they can get in order to make an educated decision on whether to place their loved ones into such homes.
But the duty to be vigilant about the care a loved one is receiving doesn't end with the decision of nursing home placement. People need to be looking for warning signs of abuse or nursing home neglect at all times, as even minor instances can be indicative of a much more serious problem. People who suspect a nursing home injury was caused by the negligence, or the intentional act of a nursing home employee, should do everything they can to investigate the situation.
A proper investigation should include taking notes, talking with administrators, workers and others in the nursing home and reviewing public health records. Under California law, the public is entitled to obtain and review nursing home information collected by the California Department of Public Health. Such information may include telltale signs of abuse or neglect, including past citations and public health infractions. This information can be extremely helpful in proving patterns of unsatisfactory care that may result in a finding of nursing home neglect.
These records are accessible to the public, but many people may not know what to look for in the mountainous files contained with the Department of Public Health. For this reason and many more, one of the first calls a suspicious person should make should be to an experienced California personal injury attorney.
Source: California Dept. of Public Health, "Public Records Access," accessed Sept. 28, 2014