Board & Care Abuse Lawyers
Schedule Free Consultation
Protecting the Rights of Elders in Los Angeles, California
When transitioning an elderly loved one from their home to a long term care facility, one very popular option – especially if they don’t require medical care – is a board & care home. These non-medical facilities are smaller, cozier, and more intimate than assisted living facilities or nursing homes. However, one must not overlook the fact that elder abuse and neglect still can – and does – occur in these types of homes all the same.
What is a Board & Care Home?
A board and & care home, more broadly defined as a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE), is a licensed facility that provides 24-hour custodial care for seniors. They’re similar to assisted living facilities in that they offer non-medical care to residents, but are much smaller in size (typically 2 to 10 residents) and often operate out of someone’s home. They provide residents with a much more independent, homier, and personal environment than a nursing home or assisted living facility. Ideal for seniors who are no longer able to perform all their daily activities on their own but who do not require medical care, they do not employ onsite medical staff and generally provide assistance with personal matters, such as dressing, hygiene, grooming, managing one’s medications, and the like.
Do you suspect your loved one is experiencing elder abuse in a Los Angeles board and care home? Contact a neglect abuse lawyer at (818) 808-0048 for legal assistance.
What Types of Elder Abuse Occur in Board & Care Homes?
New board & care homes are constantly popping up all over the country for families seeking an alternative to costly nursing home care. In California, there are over 8,000 residential care facilities for the elderly today, with more than 90% licensed for six or fewer residents housed in a private residential home setting.
Unfortunately, the same types of elder abuse that occur in larger senior living arrangements can take place in board and care homes as well. While residents in these more relaxed, homelike settings may not require 24-hour skilled nursing assistance, many of them are still frail or disabled in some capacity, often suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia, making them more vulnerable to abuse or neglect. It may be perpetrated by staff members, other residents, visitors, or guests.
Board and care elder abuse may include:
- Physical abuse, such as kicking, slapping, pinching,
- Psychological abuse, such as bullying, isolation, threats, cursing and other forms of verbal abuse
- Sexual abuse such as inappropriate touching or rape
- Financial exploitation
- Drug diversion, where staff members steal a resident’s medication
- Neglect, such as failing to get the resident proper medical treatment, malnourishment, dehydration, medication errors, and more
Because residents of board and care homes may be chronically ill and have other problems associated with advanced age, they may be unwilling or unable to report neglect or abuses. It is often up to friends and loved ones to speak up for them.
Causes of Neglect in Board & Care Homes
Board & care homes must meet the same state regulations and standards of care as assisted living facilities and are licensed and inspected by the California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing (CCL). Notwithstanding, the issues surrounding incidents of abuse and neglect in these facilities are most often rooted in staffing problems.
Even though the California Code of Regulations states that there needs to be a “sufficient number” of trained staff to meet the residents’ needs and to properly run these homes, caregivers are often undertrained, underpaid, and overworked. The ugly truth – yet again – is that many of the companies that own these facilities favor profits over the maintenance of their staff and by extension the care of their residents.
In some of these homes, it’s not uncommon for a resident to buzz for assistance and have to wait 30 minutes to an hour for a caregiver to arrive. An untimely staff can lead to an endless amount of complications.
- Patients who need help shifting positions in bed may develop bed sores, which could lead to sepsis.
- A patient who falls will have to wait in pain for help – maybe with a broken bone that needs immediate attention.
- Even simple day to day necessities such as help going to the bathroom – if not properly attended to – can lead to infections (such as a UTI) if the patient has soiled themselves and remains that way for extended periods of time.
The bottom line is – even a well-meaning staff can lead to very dangerous forms of neglect if they are overworked and have to multitask way past their limitations. With the high price tag that you and your family pay for the services that these homes promise, it is nothing short of a crime when the owners misallocate resources and spend that money on anything but the most crucial element: a sufficient, well-trained, and competent staff.
Dedicated to Pursuing Justice on Behalf of the Elderly
Our firm is devoted to helping people who are in difficult situations. If you or a loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect in a long-term care facility, we offer experienced, focused legal representation from skilled board & care home attorneys who have successfully resolved numerous cases through trial and settlements. We urge you to bring your case to us so we can discuss it during a free consultation.
We’re Here to Help. Contact Us Today!
Your case may seem overwhelming in the beginning, but there are others who have been in similar situations and found a way forward. Our team of board & care lawyers can help you make the next steps. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation with our lawyers. You can also call us at 818-808-0048.