Claims of abuse in California nursing homes continue to increase at an alarming rate. What is even more disturbing are allegations that are not adequately reported. Simply put, regulators are falling woefully and dangerously short in communicating serious claims to the state.
Out of nearly 40 nursing home incidents, twenty percent of abuse or neglect claims to the California Department of Public Health occurred long after the alleged acts occurred or were never reported in the first place. Sadly, this is not the first instance, as nursing home advocates are well aware of the CDPH’s track record of ignoring abuse allegations.
Alarming accusations of nursing home abuse
The report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General also concluded that the lack of reporting put nursing home residents at an increase alarmingly increasing risk of abuse or neglect. As a result, the IG recommends increasing guidance in facilities while clarifying, updating, and training staff on their legal requirements.
Proponents of these care facilities see a broken system where all types of elder abuse, including sexual, continue with minimal or no reporting. A total restructuring could be an essential step in full disclosure, if not holding staff accountable for what comes down to criminal actions.
California Association of Hospital Facilities, a nursing home industry group, issued a statement claiming that they “take the issue of suspected abuse and neglect reporting very seriously and look forward to additional guidance from CDPH.”
Press release promises are one thing. Real action, if not outright reform, is the best way to end abuse and neglect that traumatizes residents and their family members.