A bill which would require the California Department of Health Services (DHS) to investigate the majority of all claims of elder abuse in nursing homes within 40 days, has made it to the desk of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) and passed the Legislature last month.
An article in the Los Angles Times referred to a number of occasions where incidents of abuse were reported to the DHS, but no investigations was done. These uninvestigated claims included pressure sores which went untreated, resulting in death, a resident who was to be supervised while she ate choked on a grape and died, a failed air conditioner during a heat wave resulted in the death of a resident and the death of a resident who fell out of a wheelchair and hit his head because the facility failed to use a lap belt as required. The earliest any of these claims was investigated by the DHS was eleven months.
Please urge Gov. Schwarzenegger to sign this bill as it protects all residents of nursing homes which are licensed and monitored by the DHS.
For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Nursing Home and Elder Abuse.