From Frameworks Institute – Elder Abuse Toolkit

The Frameworks Institute has developed a toolkit which analyzes problems with society’s view of elder abuse and recommends alternative more effective approaches to discussing elder abuse. The following is a link to the Frameworks Institute, Elder Abuse website page, and a screenshot of the initial website page. Best to you – David Tate, Esq.

Here is the link to the Frameworks Institute, Elder Abuse website page, http://frameworksinstitute.org/elder-abuse.html

And the following is a screenshot of the initial website page:

 

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The Nursing Home Resident Care Plan – Indispensable Critical Importance

Below I have pasted 22 California Code of Regulations section 72311, which is one of the California laws that discusses the requirement that a nursing home develop, have, implement and update a care plan for each resident. The resident’s care in part flows from that care plan, which establishes processes and procedures for that resident. The care plan must be updated as often as necessary to reflect a change in the resident’s condition. Failure to satisfy care plan requirements is negligence, and might also constitute negligence per se, neglect, abandonment, gross negligence, elder abuse and/or intentional wrongdoing. It reminds me of a case that I handled – although the care plan called for 3 CNAs to move the resident, after the fall in injury, the CNAs testified that there were never 3 CNAs present or used because the staffing scheduled by the nursing home was inadequate.

Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco and California)

22 CCR § 72311
§ 72311. Nursing Service – General.

(a) Nursing service shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Planning of patient care, which shall include at least the following:
(A) Identification of care needs based upon an initial written and continuing assessment of the patient’s needs with input, as necessary, from health professionals involved in the care of the patient. Initial assessments shall commence at the time of admission of the patient and be completed within seven days after admission.
(B) Development of an individual, written patient care plan which indicates the care to be given, the objectives to be accomplished and the professional discipline responsible for each element of care. Objectives shall be measurable and time-limited.
(C) Reviewing, evaluating and updating of the patient care plan as necessary by the nursing staff and other professional personnel involved in the care of the patient at least quarterly, and more often if there is a change in the patient’s condition.
(2) Implementing of each patient’s care plan according to the methods indicated. Each patient’s care shall be based on this plan.
(3) Notifying the attending licensed healthcare practitioner acting within the scope of his or her professional licensure promptly of:
(A) The admission of a patient.
(B) Any sudden and/or marked adverse change in signs, symptoms or behavior exhibited by a patient.
(C) An unusual occurrence, as provided in Section 72541, involving a patient.
(D) A change in weight of five pounds or more within a 30-day period unless a different stipulation has been stated in writing by the patient’s licensed healthcare practitioner acting within the scope of his or her professional licensure.
(E) Any untoward response or reaction by a patient to a medication or treatment.
(F) Any error in the administration of a medication or treatment to a patient which is life threatening and presents a risk to the patient.
(G) The facility’s inability to obtain or administer, on a prompt and timely basis, drugs, equipment, supplies or services as prescribed under conditions which present a risk to the health, safety or security of the patient.
(b) All attempts to notify licensed healthcare practitioners acting within the scope of his or her professional licensure shall be noted in the patient’s health record including the time and method of communication and the name of the person acknowledging contact, if any. If the attending licensed healthcare practitioner acting within the scope of his or her professional licensure or his or her designee is not readily available, emergency medical care shall be provided as outlined in Section 72301(g).
(c) Licensed nursing personnel shall ensure that patients are served the diets as ordered by the attending licensed healthcare practitioner acting within the scope of his or her professional licensure.
* * * * *

Using Risk Management – Citations Against Nursing Homes – Criteria for Determining the Amount of the Civil Penalty – California Health and Safety Code Sections 1424 and 1424.5

California in part uses risk management principles to determine the amount of civil penalty to levy against a nursing home for a care violation. I would prefer, however, that in addition to the Section 1424 facts listed below, that the facts considered as criteria for determining the amount or increased amount of penalty also specifically include (1) the nursing home’s care policies, procedures and practices in place before the violation, and whether or not the nursing home was following those policies, procedures and practices, and (2) the nursing home’s timely payment of the penalty.

California Health and Safety Code Section 1424 in part provides that citations issued against nursing homes shall be classified according to the nature of the violation and shall indicate the classification on the face of the citation.

(a) In determining the amount of the civil penalty, all relevant facts shall be considered, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) The probability and severity of the risk that the violation presents to the patient’s or resident’s mental and physical condition (i.e., traditional risk management, the likelihood of the occurrence and the possible severity of an injury that could result from the breach or continuing breach).

(2) The patient’s or resident’s medical condition.

(3) The patient’s or resident’s mental condition and his or her history of mental disability or disorder.

(4) The good faith efforts exercised by the facility to prevent the violation from occurring.

(5) The licensee’s history of compliance with regulations (this criteria should get little or no weight – tell this criteria to a severely injured or dead elder or dependent adult and his or her family – the fact that a facility has a history of compliance, or that noncompliance has not been noticed in the past really isn’t relevant to the injured or deceased elder or dependent adult and isn’t a criteria in traditional tort law, so why is it relevant at all for the purpose of citation penalties levied?).

(b) Relevant facts considered by the department in determining the amount of the civil penalty shall be documented by the department on an attachment to the citation and available in the public record.

This requirement shall not preclude the department or a facility from introducing facts not listed on the citation to support or challenge the amount of the civil penalty in any proceeding set forth in section 1428.

San Mateo County’s New Elder and Dependent Adult Protection Team – The Good and the Insufficient

You may have heard that the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors this month passed a resolution funding the Elder and Dependent Adult Protection Team “EDAPT” (also sometimes known as or similar to “FAST” or “Financial Abuse Specialist Team” in other counties such as Los Angeles) for two years from the County’s Measure A funding. The initiative is funded with approximately $3.13 million taxpayer dollars over two years with the funding to begin July 1, 2015 and will run through June 2017. Click here for the link. The comments in this blog are my own. As you may know, I have handled trust, estate, conservatorship and elder abuse litigation cases for over 20 years. I have become a bit more expressive or activist in my comments. These comments are not criticisms of anyone who is trying to combat elder and dependent adult abuse. But the fact is that resources are inadequate to identify and then to stop and remedy abuse. And although resources will always be inadequate, one resource, private attorneys, is entirely or almost entirely unutilized in this battle. Until entities that receive reports of abuse arrange for a procedure to refer cases to private attorneys there is absolutely no way that those agencies, including Adult Protective Services (APS), the District Attorney, the police, county counsel, etc. can come close to protecting the abused and remedying the damages that they suffer. In fact, the link above seems to indicate that the new EDAPT initiative is primarily a community educational program, which does not involve legal or court system remedies.

Let me provide you with a quick example that should help to explain the situation and the grossly inadequate resources. The Link above states “Research shows that for every one case of older adult abuse [note that this apparently does not include dependent adult abuse] that is reported – there are another 24 that go unreported.”  The link also states “Reports of older adult abuse have been on the rise as the county’s older adult population continues to grow – which is estimated to grow by over 70% by 2030.” I don’t know how many incidents of abuse Adult Protective Services receives in an average month in San Mateo County – maybe one of my readers will respond with the average monthly number. Let’s just say that in an average month APS receives 30 reports of elder or older adult abuse (again, we are not even counting the additional cases of dependent adult abuse reporting). I suspect that the reports exceed 30 per month; however, if research indicates that for every report of older abuse there are another 24 that go unreported, that would be 30 x 25, or 750 incidents of adult abuse in an average month. Do you know how much time and effort it takes to stop and then remedy just one case of elder abuse through the court system? Well . . . that number does vary from case to case, but I can tell you that based on my experience in my cases, the number of hours is huge and the time (i.e., months or even years) that it can take also can be staggering. I can also fully confirm that abusers actively fight legal actions that are brought against them. They know or believe that resources are limited and inadequate, and that they might stand a reasonable chance of beating the system.

The new initiative is for two years, at an average funding of roughly $1.5 million per year. The funding started July 1, 2015, so we already have 3 months done in the first year of the initiative. I have been looking for a detailed two-year plan for the initiative – perhaps one of my readers can tell me where I can find that plan. I have written and videoed about this topic before, and the inadequate resources. Again, I fully support the efforts of everyone who is fighting elder and dependent adult abuse, but let me say that resources are inadequate, and you really, really need to bring vetted private attorneys into the effort through referrals or by whatever means makes the report receiving agencies (i.e., APS, etc.) comfortable.

Best, Dave Tate, Esq. (and licensed inactive CPA), San Mateo County, San Francisco Bay Area, and throughout California

Ombudsman Services – San Mateo County – Annual Report 2014-2015 – 4,497 Care Facility Visits – 1,624 Investigations – And More Good Work

Ombudsman Services SMC Visits Investigations FY 2014-2015

Below is a link to the San Mateo County, California, Ombudsman Services annual report for 2014-2015. The report shows amazingly substantial services for the year, including for example, 4,497 facility visits, and 1,624 investigations. As you might know, Ombudsman Services of San Mateo County, Inc. is committed to working with residents, families, facilities and stakeholders to create a community dedicated to protecting the rights of all residents living in long term care in San Mateo County. They challenge long-term care facilities to deliver the highest standards of individualized care for their residents, and advocate for the health, safety, and dignity of these residents and broader changes in the system.

The following is a link to the annual report – please take a look at this worthwhile organization that does good work on behalf of and protecting the rights of residents living in long term care facilities in San Mateo County, CLICK HERE

And please do pass this information and blog post to other people who would be interested in these very important services. Thank you.

Dave Tate, Esq., San Francisco and throughout California, civil, trust, estate, conservatorship and elder abuse litigation, and contentious administrations. My two blogs: http://californiaestatetrust.com and http://directorofficernews.com

There Needs To Be A Law – Petitioning For Conservatorship Should Not Disinherit You

Short and sweet. I’m not sure what the wording should be, but we need a law that to some extent protects a person from being disinherited for filing a petition for conservatorship.

The situation that I have in mind: a son or daughter files a petition for conservatorship of their mother or father. In doing so, the son or daughter risks that mom or dad will be very angry with the petition and will seek to change their estate planning to exclude or disinherit the son or daughter.  There needs to be some protection for the son or daughter, whether the petition for conservatorship is granted or not.

I’m not saying that I favor conservatorships. A conservatorship can be a serious restriction on a person’s constitutional rights and freedom. All I’m saying is that a son or daughter should not have to fear possible disinheritance for filing a petition for conservatorship in a situation where there is no finding that the petition was filed in bad faith or where there is evidence that a conservatorship might be necessary even if less restrictive options are available.

Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco and California), click link to this blog, Law Office of David W. Tate, and also working with Albertson & Davidson LLP, northern and southern California click link to Albertson & Davidson website.

Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse and My PowerPoint Presentation Slides

This blog post includes a video about elder and dependent adult abuse, and below the video you will find a link to my PowerPoint slides from a recent elder and dependent adult presentation for an attorney bar association section. Please pass this blog post to everyone who would be interested in these materials. Thank you. Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco and California).

Click on the following link for the PowerPoint slides from my elder and dependent adult abuse presentation, ELDER AND DEPENDENT ADULT ABUSE AND PROTECTION PRESENTATION SLIDES