In California, twelve new bills were recently proposed in support of increasing the care, health, and safety of elderly individuals staying at residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs). The purpose of these bills was also to enhance state enforcement and regulation, and came in light of numerous reports and occurrences involving elder abuse, injuries, and deaths occurring within such facilities. Many of these bills are sponsored by the advocacy group CANHR and cover a breadth of aspects within RCFEs.
The purpose of each bill has been summarized below:
– 1. Staffing for Higher Acuity – This bill will require facilities that accept elderly residents with specialized health conditions to employ trained medical staff on a full or part-time basis as appropriate.
– 2. RCFE Staff Training and Qualifications – This bill seeks to amend the Health & Safety Code by increasing training and qualification requirements of RCFE staff.
– 3. Statutory Bill of Rights – This bill seeks to adopt a modern bill of rights for RCFE residents, and to provide the Attorney General, residents, and the public with the right to obtain injunctive relief to prevent violations of these residents’ rights.
– 4. Increasing Penalties – This bill seeks to increase fines for violations, and creates a citation system similar to that for nursing home violations.
– 5. Consumer Complaint Response – This bill will require the Department of Social Services/Community Care Licensing to start and complete any complaint investigations in a timely manner, and to provide written notice of findings to complainants.
– 6. RCFE Inspections – This bill seeks to require the Community Care Licensing Department to conduct unannounced inspections of RCFEs as often as necessary, or at least on an annual basis, in order to ensure that quality care is administered.
– 7. Consumer Information System – This bill will require that there be an online RCFE Consumer Information system which will provide the public with updated license, ownership, complaint and enforcement information regarding all RCFEs that are licensed in California.
– 8. Admission Bans – This bill will allow suspension of the admission of new residents into RCFEs that have a substantial probability of causing harm.
– 9. Disclosure of Licensee – This bill will require complete disclosure of ownership, including the history of compliance.
– 10. Resident and Family Councils – This bill seeks to increase resident and family council’s rights.
– 11. License Suspension & Revocation – This bill outlines the Department and licensees’ obligations when licenses are suspended or revoked.
– 12. Liability Insurance – This bill will require RCFEs to obtain liability insurance.
Elderly individuals are part of a vulnerable segment of society, and when we place them into these care facilities, we trust that they will be respected and provided with high quality care. The caregivers and staff members of these facilities are responsible for the health and safety of their residents. As such, if they are inadequately trained or engage in abusive behavior, they are actively putting elderly individuals in danger of harm and injury. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi are specialists in the field of elder abuse and neglect. If you believe that your loved one is at risk of abuse or neglect within these facilities, or has been a victim of elder abuse or neglect, we encourage you to contact us at (888) 606-3453 for a free consultation today. We will fight vigorously for your loved one’s rights so that they obtain the justice they deserve.