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California State Laws Governing Nursing Home Care

California State Laws Governing Nursing Home Care


Certified nursing homes in California are required by the state to give each resident the best possible care, both physically and mentally. And, unless it is medically unavoidable, nursing homes are also required to, through necessary treatment and therapies, make sure a resident’s existing condition is maintained or does not decline.

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, there are more than 6 million cases of abuse in the United States every year, with 11 percent (the highest concentration) of those cases taking place in California.

If your loved one is not receiving proper care or has been the victim of elder abuse, California nursing home abuse attorney Joel Bryant can help. Specializing in aiding victims over 65 and their families, Bryant is one of San Diego’s top litigation attorneys. 

Here is a closer look at several California state laws mandated by the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) that need to be followed to ensure our clients’ well-being. 

Is Your Loved One in California Receiving a High Quality of Life?

According to multiple CFRs, a nursing home resident has the right to receive reasonable accommodations based on their individual needs and wants. This could include staff schedules and staff assignments based on resident needs, room arrangements, and bathing preferences. For instance, if a resident has a fear of falling while getting into the bathtub, staff members should realize that this does not mean the resident is refusing to be clean, just the method offered to be clean.

California also requires nursing facilities to provide 3.2 hours minimum of care per resident per day. If there is not an adequate staffing level available to meet this requirement, the nursing home needs to employ as many licensed nursing and certified nursing assistants until it is.

Is Your Loved One in California Receiving Necessary Nutrition & Hydration?

If your loved one is not receiving proper dietary needs, this is a form of neglect, which can be prosecuted. For example, nursing home residents will become dehydrated if they do not receive enough fluids. Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Decrease in urination
  • Fever
  • Skin irritations
  • Serious illness and death

California nursing homes must also provide residents with a well-balanced diet that meets daily nutritional needs. As far as care, this means:

  • Serving at least three meals a day at consistent times (no more than a 14-hour time gap between breakfast and dinner), plus snacks. 
  • Following menus that meet national dietary standards.
  • Accommodating any food preferences or nutritional problems under physician orders
  • Distributing food under sanitary conditions

If a resident’s ability to eat food orally diminishes, the facility should come up with a customized care plan, which could include utilizing a feeding tube temporarily as a last resort. Federal guidelines recommend that nursing homes must immediately notify a resident’s physician if there are signs of malnutrition.

Contact an Elder Abuse Attorney if Your Loved One Is Not Cared For

If your elderly loved one is not receiving the proper care required by the state of California, contact the team of attorneys at Joel Bryant to fight for your family’s rights. Bryant was one of the first attorneys in San Diego to specialize in financial elder abuse and has decades of experience in handling nursing home abuse.