Most people who have loved ones in California nursing homes simply cannot be there to help them 24 hours a day. People with aging parents want the best for them, but it is just too much to ask of a person to have a career, raise children, and also look after their elderly parents all at the same time. Seniors who cannot take care of themselves may wind up in assisted living facilities or may have an in-home nurse or care specialist come to their houses several times a week, which can be a huge relief to their families. But what happens when the person who is supposed to keep an elderly patient from harm isn't doing his or her job adequately. Or worse, what if that person is actually doing the patient harm?
People in California who have ever had to entrust the care and support of a loved one to another caretaker know how stressful this situation can be. Even after doing substantial background checks and thoroughly investigating the caretaker or nursing home, it's just human nature to worry that a loved one is not receiving proper care. Unfortunately, sometimes those worries wind up to be well-founded.
People in California who have parents or loved ones in nursing homes or assisted living facilities know that there is nothing more heartbreaking and frightening than some of the extreme cases of elder abuse that have been reported over the last few years. Stories of traumatic physical and even sexual abuse have made their way into the news in our state as well as the rest of the country.
California senior citizens could be in for some big changes in the health care and nursing home realm in the coming years, as the state looks to reshuffle the way it currently doles out nursing home and health care payments as well as care to low-income senior citizens. While supporters of the plan are optimistic it may save the state something in the neighborhood of half a billion dollars, people are concerned that it will cause disruptions in the system that could lead to nursing home neglect.
Earlier this month a jury found in favor of the family of an 81-year-old woman with advanced dementia who died after apparent neglect at a nursing home facility in Auburn, California. The trial, held in Sacramento, ended in a $23 million punitive damages award in favor of the woman's family after they found evidence of shocking nursing home neglect.
People in San Diego with elderly loved ones or those thinking about their own retirement and nursing care should be aware of a cautionary tale of a man in Minnesota. In the several years before the man's demise, he had his caretaker spend about $2 million of his hard-earned money on her family and her own lavish lifestyle.