New California Law to Reduce Elder Abuse in Assisted Living Facilities

Last year, Governor Brown signed 13 bills into law designed to protect our elderly. On July 1, 2015, a bundle of these new laws went into effect in California as part of the state’s ongoing effort to increase oversight of assisted living facilities, a problem that many have called a crisis of care.

California assisted living facilities, also known as Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs), are long-term care options for seniors 60 years of age and older. While RCFEs offer seniors a supervised residential alternative to nursing homes, the state’s regulation and oversight of assisted living facilities has fallen short of that for nursing facilities. As a result, residents in assisted living facilities have had a higher rate of death and injuries caused by abuse and neglect. Many health care experts have called it a crisis.

However, the new laws establish a bill of rights for residents in assisted living facilities akin to that which already exists for nursing home residents. Residents must also now have representation on assisted living homes’ governing boards as well as well as quarterly reporting of financial statements. Additionally, the laws increase the maximum fine from $150 to $15,000 for violations that cause death.

At Boyd Law, we are very pleased to see California’s politicians working hard to protect our seniors. If you believe somebody you know has been a victim of elder abuse, please call us today for a free consultation.