Kate in San Francisco writes, “Chris, I worked as a licensed vocation nurse at an assisted living facility for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of advanced dementia and cognitive impairments. I was a dedicated, experienced professional. Last year, a new company bought the facility. The new management team was focused on cutting costs. Food menus were changed to reduce the quality and quantity of meals. PTO and sick leave for staff were reduced across the board. When anyone was ill, no one was called into to cover their shift. We were regularly short staffed.
This week I want to discuss important federal regulatory changes that will affect millions of elderly dependent adults who are residing in nursing homes. Many of these adults, or their children, have unwittingly signed away their constitutional rights to resolution of their grievances by a civil jury selected from their communities instead agreeing to binding arbitration: a process which favors businesses over consumers.
Last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new rules prohibiting nursing homes, which receive federals funds through Medicare or Medicaid, from requiring patients to agree to arbitrate any legal claims against the nursing home at any time before a dispute arises or as a condition of admission. CMS is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Failure To Assist Resident Use Bathroom Resulted In Fall And Death Lawsuit Charges
San Mateo, CA (September 30, 2016) – On behalf of the family of Calvin Bennett, age 85, attorneys Chris Dolan and Aimee Kirby of the Dolan Law Firm filed earlier this year an elder abuse and wrongful death lawsuit against a San Mateo County assisted living facility and its owner Karin Lastimosa. Bennett died at Elle’s Care Home located in Broadmoor Village on May 30, 2015.
Jared S. from San Francisco asks, “My mother’s health is declining. My siblings and I don’t have the bandwidth to provide her the care we need ourselves. We’ve started to look at nursing homes. Any advice on selecting a nursing home? What should we know and/or watch out for?”
Jared, selecting a nursing home can be a difficult and emotionally taxing process. First and foremost, you need to be sure that the medical needs of your mother are being met. You should consult with your mother’s physicians to determine the level of assistance that she may need.
Jonathan S. of Cow Hollow asks: “My grandfather just suffered from a stroke and I want to take time off from work to care for him while he recovers. I work at a large company, but my employer does not allow time off to care for grandparents, only parents. My manager told me if I take the time off, she could not guarantee I would have a job to return to. Are there any laws that would protect my job and allow me to take a leave of absence to care for my grandfather?”
Tara W. from Tiburon asks, “My grandmother is in a nursing home. She is bed bound and can’t use her legs. They don’t get her out of bed or change her adult diaper regularly and she has developed two large sores on her bottom. It’s not the best place but it is all we can afford. What rights does she have and what can I do to hold them responsible for not caring for my Grandma?”