June marks Elder Abuse Awareness Month and June 15th is dedicated specifically to raising awareness, spreading the word, and taking action to prevent elder abuse across the world. We are incredibly excited that this movement has grown, and today, more than most, we’d like to highlight some of the work that has been done, some of the key resources for elders and their caretakers, and key actions you can take to promote World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
3 Major Developments in Preventing Elder Abuse
1. The White House proposes legislation to reform the nursing home system. While these reforms still have to go through the usual process for passing and being implemented, simply coming out and acknowledging the problems and proposing changes was a huge step in the right direction. This move by the White House brought national attention to some issues that have been festering in nursing homes for far too long. Some proposed changes include:
- Establishing a minimum nursing home staffing requirement.
- Reducing room crowding for residents
- Reinforcing safeguards against unnecessary medications and treatments.
- And so much more! Read the official Fact Sheet here.
2. California Assembly Bill 1502 was proposed and passed by the assembly. While this assembly bill is still waiting for a vote by the Senate Health Committee, it has already passed the initial stages. This bill would require any person looking to take on the management, ownership, or operation of a nursing home or care facility to be screened and approved by CDPH before taking on their leadership role. Learn more here.
3. Five of the six PROTECT Plan reform bills were signed by Governor Gavin Newsom. Every little bit helps, and we saw a major move on Governor Newsom’s part to protect nursing homes residents. PROTECT stands for Prioritize Responsible Ownership, Treatment, Equity and Corporate Transparency, and included the following five – now passed – bills as part of its plan:
- SB 650 (Stern) The Corporate Transparency in Elder Care Act will require nursing homes to submit an annual financial report so the public is aware of how each facility spends its money.
- AB 849 (Reyes) Reverses the California Supreme Court decision which said facilities were only held to $500 in liability regardless of the violation.
- AB 323 (Kalra) Increases the penalties for nursing home citations, and updates the standards for Class AA citations for violations that cause a resident’s death.
- AB 1042 (Jones Sawyer) Establishes that entities with shared ownership of a nursing home or care facility will share liability for specified penalties and fees.
- AB 749 (Nazarian) Requires nursing home medical directors to be certified by the American Board of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine within five years of the date of hire.
3 Resources to Help You Age on Your Terms!
- Aging in Place. This organization helps connect seniors and their loved ones to resources that can help them find the best possible care as they age. Staying at home is preferred by a lot of Americans who wish to stay out of nursing homes for as long as possible, and Aging in Place makes it easy to find resources and determine if this is the best course of action.
- Aging Life Care specialists. These individuals are trained to help walk you through the often confusing and stressful process of finding and choosing home care, insurance, crisis intervention, and conservatorship. The Aging Life Care Association also holds educational workshops and hosts events.
- The Department of Financial Protection & Innovation fact sheet. The Department of Financial Protection and Innovation has a fantastic fact sheet outlining what financial abuse is, how to spot it, and what to do if you are a victim.
A critical part of Elder Abuse Awareness Month is taking action. We could not have taken the great strides we have in the past few years without the support of individuals across the country who have fought for the equitable treatment of our nation’s elders. If you want to get involved, here are three great ways to continue the fight and take action!
1. Oppose nursing home immunity. COVID-19 shed, and continues to shed, light on all the defects of nursing homes that have been facilitating elder abuse for decades. In light of harmful policies, lax rules, and other mismanagement as a result of COVID-19 and other contributing factors, we strongly encourage everyone to oppose immunity for nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Immunity means that, for some issues, care facilities cannot be help liable for their actions or treatments, which endangers the residents and can result in untenable living conditions. Join The Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care in their fight against immunity and learn more about how you can help here.
2. Spread the word! The World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) website has sample social media posts that you can post on June 15 to spread the word about WEAAD. Find these posts here, and make sure to tag the National Center on Elder Abuse (@NCEAatUSC ) and use the hashtag #WEAAD615
3. Know the signs of abuse. There are many different kinds of abuse. Some have very clear signs and others are hard to spot. But anyone can spot and report abuse, and knowing some of the key signs is key. The WEAAD has the below fact sheets available:
You can also read our blog for some other tips: 8 Signs of Elder Abuse to Look For & What is Elder Abuse? How to Prevent it and What to do When Someone I Know is Experiencing it.
Visit the WEAAD website for more information about Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and how you can get involved.
Thank you all for helping us spread awareness and end elder abuse!
If you or a loved one have been a victim of elder abuse or neglect, contact Gharibian Law (877-875-1119) today for a free consultation and the best in legal representation.