California Nursing Homes Ranked Last in Safety Protections

casey-horner-353950-copy-153x300What types of safety protections are in place for patients at San Marcos nursing homes? While we recently discussed elder safety investigations in San Diego County, it turns out that facilities across the state of California are not doing enough to protect seniors against nursing home abuse in the first place. In other words, although San Diego County’s investigations may be a model for other regions of the country, the state ranks last when it comes to elder abuse protections designed to prevent abuse and neglect, according to a recent report in WalletHub.

Need for States to Take Steps to Prevent Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

As the report explains, “elder abuse affects as many as 5 million people per year, and 96 percent of all cases go unreported.” Given that a large portion of the population is currently age 65 or older—and that the population in that age group is expected to almost double by the year 2050—it is particularly important to think about preventive measures so that elder abuse does not occur. While enforcement methods are significant in the shorter term, the goal should be to eradicate, inasmuch as possible, the risks of abuse for seniors living in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. The report ultimately suggests that the impetus for this needs to be on individual states.

In conducting an analysis of available elder abuse protections, WalletHub compared practices in all 50 U.S. states, including the District of Columbia. The analysis was “based on 11 key indicators of elder-abuse protection in 3 overall categories,” including “share of elder-abuse, gross-neglect, and exploitation complaints.” How did California fare? With the inclusion of the District of Columbia in the analysis, the state of California ranked last, at 51st in elder abuse protections.

California Ranks as Worst State for Nursing Home Abuse and Elder Neglect Protections

The three categories in the report included prevalence of elder abuse, state resources designed to prevent nursing home abuse and neglect, and actual protections that are currently in place. With particularly low numbers in the first two categories, California’s average resulted in a last-place ranking with a total score of only 17.19 (out of a possible 100.00).

In what areas does California especially need to improve, according to the report? In terms of the prevalence of nursing home abuse and neglect, California ranks 49th, making it tied for last place with Rhode Island and South Carolina in terms of elder abuse incidents. Then, when it comes to state resources devoted to protection against abuse, California ranks 40th in the nation.

Specifically, the report indicates that California has the “highest elder-abuse, gross-neglect, and exploitation complaints.” In comparison, what are some of the highest ranked states that officials in California might look to as an example? Nearby states like Nevada have some of the lowest rates of elder abuse complaints in the country, while states like Arizona and Montana are among those that spend the most on elder abuse prevention initiatives and ombudsman-program funding.

Contact a San Marcos Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

If you have questions about nursing home abuse or neglect and need help filing a claim, a nursing home abuse attorney in San Marcos can assist with your case. Contact the Walton Law Firm for more information.

See Related Blog Posts:

Consent and Capacity in Nursing Home Abuse Cases

Nursing Home Abuse in Valley Center: What Happens to Residents When a Dangerous Nursing Home Closes?

(image courtesy of Casey Horner)