New Elder Care Protections on the Way in San Diego County

First Nursing Home Facility Rating System in California

As the population of California continues to age, and more baby boomers find themselves thinking about San Diego assisted-living facilities and nursing homes, it is becoming more important than ever to ensure that seniors in the San Diego area are protected from nursing home abuse and neglect.  According to a recent story San Diego CBS 8, San Diego County leaders currently are in the process of developing an elder care facility rating system that is aimed at preventing elder abuse.

file0001867553256According to the news story, the new rating system will be the first of its kind in California.  The ratings will be based on several different factors, and the Board of Supervisors hopes that the system will allow families to make informed decisions about the care of their elderly loved ones. The system is still in its early stages, but the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved its creation, emphasizing the need to protect older adults from physical, emotional, and sexual abuse in Southern California facilities.

New Elder Abuse Protection Unit Funding

While the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a new rating system designed to help seniors decide on an appropriate elder care facility, and thus to prevent elder abuse, the story also reported on increased funding to the District Attorney’s office.  While the new elder care facility rating system is designed for prevention measures, additional funding to the Elder Abuse Protection Unit will help the county to hold abusers accountable.

Each year, according to the San Diego County District Attorney, the county handles about 9,000 cases of elder abuse.  It is important to remember that many of these incidents go unreported, and the District Attorney’s office can only take action if abuse is properly reported.  Additionally, it is essential to report elder abuse situations so that the victim can be eligible to file a civil claim to seek compensation for his or her injuries.

How does reporting work in San Diego County? Generally speaking, if you witness a crime of elder abuse as it is happening, you should call 911 or a local law enforcement agency.  But if you suspect elder abuse or neglect already occurred, you can contact Adult Protective Services.  In many cases, healthcare providers and social services professionals are “mandated reporters,” which means that they must report a suspected occurrence of elder abuse.

In addition to the elder facility rating system, the Board of Supervisors hopes that additional funds for prosecuting elder abuse can help to bolster the work already being conducted by the Elder Abuse Protection Unit.  In San Diego County, the Elder Abuse Unit is part of a larger “Family Protection Division.”  In addition to prosecuting acts of elder abuse, the unit also provides educational outreach to seniors so that they know how to protect themselves from abuse, and how to report it in the event that abuse or neglect occurs.

Contact a San Diego Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Given the recent news across the country concerning elder abuse and neglect in San Diego’s assisted-living facilities, it does not come as a surprise that San Diego County leaders have begun taking steps to help prevent and combat elder abuse in Southern California.  If your elderly loved one sustained injuries because of elder abuse or neglect, it is extremely important to talk with an experienced San Diego nursing home abuse lawyer today.  Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn about how we can help.

Photo Credit: bluekdesign via morgueFile

See Related Blog Posts:

California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

Grant Funding to Combat Elder Abuse