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How Do I Report Nursing Home Abuse in California?

Nursing home abuse is a multi-faceted problem that has caused great amounts of pain and suffering for elderly individuals across the state of California. A wide range of different types of abuse exists, such as psychological, financial, physical, and sexual. While one of the biggest causes for nursing home abuse is inadequate staffing, some of the other variables that one should consider are those like nursing home management, licences/certification to operate, personal credentials of the nurses, working conditions, and much more. 

It is critical that Californians understand how to report nursing home abuse so that their loved ones do not suffer at the hands of abusers. Joel Bryant is a nursing home abuse attorney who has seen the effects of elder abuse on countless Californians, now dedicating his time to elder abuse law to better the conditions of elderly family members across the state. 

1. Seek Medical Care for the Elder

Your very first step when attempting to resolve a case of elder abuse is to seek immediate care for the harm that has been done to them. Whether this is done through an emergency room or a therapist, the most critical aspect of a case like this is the safety and wellbeing of your family member. 

2. Obtain Advice and Information from the Elder’s Physician

Talking with the primary care doctor of your elderly family member is an important step in getting professional advice concerning abuse in a nursing center. As these doctors are trained to consult patients on their overall wellbeing across all areas of life, they may be able to provide specific and informed suggestions on which steps to take moving forward. In addition, these physicians usually have an in-depth understanding of the healthcare system in California, enabling them to better prepare you for the road ahead.

It is important to note that if the primary care physician works under or with the abusive nursing home in question, you should seek professional advice elsewhere to protect your family. This could be with a new doctor or your own personal general physician. 

3. Report the Abuse to the California Department of Public Health (DPH)

The California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) main priority is ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all Californians. Through the CDPH’s proper channels, you can file complaints against the nursing home in question. According to California law (Code §1420(a)(1)), the California DPH will notify you within 48 hours from the filing of the complaint that an investigator from the state government has been assigned to research your case.

For additional support, you may choose to submit a separate complaint to the Division of Medi-Cal Fraud & Elder Abuse (DMFEA). While this division is still technically affiliated and operated by the state government, they are a special subsection of the State of California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) that has additional resources available to it to investigate claims of elder abuse. 

4. Reach Out to a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Obtaining justice for your elderly family member is an important step in obtaining the peace of mind your family deserves. With the help of a San Diego nursing home abuse attorney such as Joel Bryant, you may be able to recover compensation that can be used to prevent abuse from reoccurring at your previous facility, seek proper medical care for harm already done, apply for a new nursing home, and recover any money stolen from your family member.