State Negligent in Failing to Check Background of Nursing Home Caregivers

The Sacramento Business Journal is out with an article accusing the State of California of exposing elderly nursing home residents to dangerous caregivers because state regulators have failed to implement a 2006 law that requires the creation of a centralized database for background checks on all long-term caregivers.

According to the article, an investigation by the state’s Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes discovered at least 20 incidents where individuals who lost their certification as nursing assistance because of wrongdoing were cleared and hired in a different facility.

“There is no excuse for allowing people with known histories of abuse to work in residential care facilities for the elderly or as caregivers in any other setting,” said Michael Connors, an advocate with California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, a non-profit that advocates on behalf of nursing home and residential care residents.

One San Diego example provided in the report involved a certified nursing assistant who tried to transfer an 81-year-old nursing home resident by herself from bed to the shower. The resident’s care-plan required two CNAs for all transfers. The resident fell, but the CNA never told a supervisor of the fall (presumably out of fear she would get in trouble). The resident’s left hip was fractured in the fall, which went undiagnosed for an extended period of time. The resident died two months later. (Walton Law Firm has handled this very type of case – fall with undiagnosed fracture – many times.)

The regulation of nursing home workers has become a serious issue in California, with the growing number of elderly, and the explosion in growth of residential care facilities for the elderly. As of 2008, there were 7,648 RCFEs in California, an 18% jump in just four years.

To read the entire report from the Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes click here (.pdf).

Source: Sacramento Business Journal

The nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at the Walton Law Firm represent seniors and dependent adults who have been abused or neglected in the nursing home, long-term care, residential and home care setting. Call (866) 607-1325 for a free and confidential consultation.