The Impact of Resuming Inspections in Nursing Homes
March 2, 2022 in Elder Abuse
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted California’s nursing homes. According to data released by the state, nearly 10,000 nursing home residents have died from the virus since the pandemic began. That number does not include the countless vulnerable residents who suffered from abuse and neglect.
The problem grew dire in 2020 when the California Department of Public Health temporarily suspended nursing home inspections. Combined with the pandemic-related ban on family visits, the loss of state oversight led to a situation where poor treatment flourished.
“Where is the proactive, patient centered, public safety approach here?” State Assemblymember Jim Wood asked during a legislative hearing on nursing home abuse. “Where is that?”
Nursing inspections have now resumed. However, many residents are still suffering. Belgum, Fry & Van Allen is an elder abuse law firm that can help if someone you love has experienced abuse or a substandard level of care. “To receive a free case evaluation, click here.”
Why Inspections Stopped
California halted routine nursing home inspections in March 2020. The decision was made following a directive from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
At the time, coronavirus infections were rampant, and no vaccine was available. Desperate measures were taken to protect the population. “Throughout the (pandemic) response, the department’s absolute focus has been on saving lives,” Cassie Dunham, acting Deputy Director of the state’s Department of Public Health explained in response to tough questions.
How Vulnerable Nursing Home Residents Suffered
California’s strict COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 upended daily life in nursing homes. Beloved family and friends were no longer allowed to visit. Staff members were under more stress, and many had to call out due to illness.
When the state ceased nursing home inspections, another wrench was thrown into residents’ lives. Elder abuse is typically reported by loved ones and official inspectors. California’s nursing home residents were deprived of both in 2020.
“The number of COVID infections and deaths that happened in skilled nursing facilities in California is truly appalling,” Assemblyman Wood said.
Belgum, Fry & Van Allen values essential workers and understands how hard they work. Our efforts are focused on nursing homes that truly harm their elderly residents.
The Advantages of Resuming Nursing Home Inspections
Regular nursing home inspections are essential. Loved ones are one of the most important players in the fight against elder abuse and neglect, yet state actors also have an impact. The state has the power to levy expensive fines and citations on failing facilities.
The state officially resumed inspections in May 2021. However, many of the problems born during the days of no oversight still exist. Nursing homes still face severe staffing issues, and COVID-19 is still a serious risk. California may even go into another lockdown as the pandemic rages on.
Consult an Elder Abuse Attorney If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is often difficult to prove. The experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen can help you build your claim against the facility harming your loved one. California’s nursing home inspections have resumed, but serious problems are still rampant. The person you love doesn’t need to wait for the state to go after their abuser. You can start the case. To contact us or to learn more, click here.