San Diego, CA- Ideally, a nursing home is a place where an elderly or disabled person can get the care their families can’t provide in a safe environment. But, with nearly one in three nursing homes in the U.S. cited for putting their residents danger–according to the National Center on Elder Abuse–many seniors are deprived of the care and dignity they deserve.

Abuse and neglect in nursing homes causes irreversible psychological harm and painful injuries. Elders who are abused by their caregivers can become mistrustful of others and live in a state of fear. This misconduct can also lead to exorbitant medical costs for the victim.

In recognition of the pain and distress that abuse and neglect can have on an elderly or disabled person, Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. And while the legislation was focused primarily on Medicaid and Medicare, lawmakers included important protections in an effort to curtail abuse and neglect.

According to the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, residents of long-term care facilities in California and the nation as a whole have the following rights:

  • To be treated with respect and dignity
  • To be free of mental and physical abuse
  • To be free of chemical or physical restraints
  • To privacy
  • To express grievances and concerns and a means of redress any abuses they encounter
  • To have input into the care and services they receive.

Additionally, the legislation also provided guidelines the type of care and services a facility should provide to each resident. That includes providing:

  • Dietary, pharmaceutical, and rehabilitation services
  • Comprehensive, individualized care plans, and
  • Social workers (for certain facilities)

Yet, despite these plainly established rights, far too many nursing home residents are abused or neglected in by their caregivers every day in California. According to the NCEA estimates, nearly that 1 in 10 seniors in the U.S. persons are subjected to abuse and neglect either in a long-term care facility or in their own homes.

Nursing home abuse and neglect can be minor or it can be an unspeakable act that leads to great suffering for the victim. In the worst cases, an elderly person can lose their lives as a result of their treatment. No elderly person should face abuse or neglect and if they do, it’s important they know that on top of the rights outline above, they also have the right to hold a facility financially accountable for the victim’s medical bills and emotional distress.

After contacting, California’s Long Term Care Ombudsman to report a facility, they need to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer in California to discuss their case and determine if they are eligible for compensation.

When you enlist one of the elder law attorneys at USAttorneys, they will begin investigating your claims and build a solid injury or wrongful death claim on your behalf. Our legal team in California will work very hard to get a victim and their loved ones the justice they deserve.