November 24, 2021
We at Gharibian Law are excited to share the news that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have revised their guidelines for senior resident home visitation. Throughout the worst months of COVID-19, nursing homes had to contend with the growing and important issue of visitation from loved ones and other organizations. Not willing to put anyone at risk, nursing homes and care facilities heavily revised their visitation requirements and, unfortunately, rights were often ignored.
As of November 12, 2021, CMS has reinstated previous visitation guidelines which now follow the rules below.
- Facilities must allow visitors at all times, with no limits on the number of visitors per resident (as long as the COVID-19 safety protocols can still be followed)
- Communal activities and dining can occur within the infection prevention guidelines (distancing).
- All residents can have close contact with visitors.
This is a great stride in the direction of restoring the quality of life for nursing home residents who have been separated from loved ones for nearly two years.
Please enjoy visits safely, and if you become aware of any abuse, contact the proper authorities and call Gharibian Law (866-239-8812) for exceptional representation.
November 3, 2021
When it comes to your own safety or the safety and well-being of a loved one, you want the best advice and quality legal representation. That’s why when it comes to Elder Abuse cases you do not want to put your case in the hands of an attorney who does not have Elder Abuse experience. We wanted to talk a little bit about the difference between Personal Injury and Elder Abuse attorneys, and the importance of hiring the lawyer that can do the most for you.
Personal Injury Attorney vs. Elder Abuse Attorney
While Personal Injury attorneys know the ins and outs of laws and legal precedent for general neglect, car accidents, and slips and falls, they also handle cases from a variety of different areas that are not related to elder abuse or nursing homes, making them more general practitioners of injury law.
Elder Abuse attorneys practice a niched sector of law, specializing in the very unique laws governing nursing homes and the treatment of elders. Attorneys, like those at Gharibian Law, have dedicated their careers to Elder Abuse law, they know how nursing homes work, what standards they should be held to, and how the law addresses the specific failures, financial and physical abuses, and neglect that occur within the nursing homes and other programs designed for California’s senior citizens.
Making the Call
When you contact an Elder Abuse attorney, you know your case is not going to be added to a pile of other unrelated cases – the attorney will have tried and true strategies, know who to contact for professional opinions and testimony, and will personalize their fight to your case.
Gharibian Law encourages anyone with knowledge or suspicions of Elder Abuse to contact the proper authorities, and then call an Elder Abuse law expert. Elder Abuse is untenable, don’t let your case be treated like any other injury case.
October 27, 2021
As elder abuse and medical malpractice attorneys, Gharibian Law partners are passionate about changing the way law, specifically California law, punishes doctors and facilities guilty of malpractice. One way we want to encourage California residents to take action is by showing support for the Fairness for Injured Patients Act.
The Fairness for Injured Patients Act will be on a 2022 ballot and looks to overturning the capped maximum financial compensation for medical malpractice. Currently the cap is $250,000, but the new act would seek to instate no cap so victims can seek fair and proportionate compensation for their claims.
“It is long past time to adjust the cap for pain and suffering in
medical malpractice cases. I have carried this issue in my
heart for many years since I met victims who never had a fair
chance to recover equitable damages because of some
backroom special interest deal.”
Former Senator Barbara Boxer
How You Can Help
For the first time since 1975, California residents will have the chance to change how much is awarded to families and individuals victimized by doctors and the egregiously low compensation cap. In November of 2022 get out and vote to make California one of just 21 states without caps.
If you or your loved one have been a victim of medical malpractice, neglect, or elder abuse, call Gharibian Law for excellent legal representation.
October 20, 2021
October is Residents’ Rights Month, and we at Gharibian Law are excited to celebrate and raise awareness. We’ve talked about some of the steps being taken to improve the lives of nursing home residents, but there are still improvements to be made, so we’d like to encourage all residents to speak up and caregivers and loved ones to take action.
Know Your Rights
Knowing your rights as a nursing home or care facility resident is incredibly important. Knowing how you should be treated will help determine if your care facility is in violation of any laws or standards of living.
Among others, some of your rights as a nursing home resident are:
- The right to privacy
- The right to information about your community
- The right to visits from family and friends
- The right to attend and take part in religious and community activities
- The right to protection from descrimination
Abuse and neglect can go unnoticed by loved ones, but if you believe you’ve been the victim of abuse, speak up. If you are an employee of a care facility, don’t let abuse and neglect go unchecked, speak up. And if you are a loved one of someone in a nursing home or care facility, know that you have the voice and power to protect your loved one. So don’t be scared to speak up!
As always, we encourage anyone who witnesses, knows of, or has been the victim of abuse or neglect to report all incidents to the authorities and get in touch with a lawyer. Having the best legal defense on your side is essential, so be sure to contact Gharibian Law (866-642-5915) to get world-class representation from a team that cares and fights hard for your rights.
October 13, 2021
California governor, Gavin Newsom, signed five of the six bills included in the PROTECT Plan into law. PROTECT stands for Prioritize Responsible Ownership, Treatment, Equity and Corporate Transparency and is a plan that aims to directly address nursing home and care facility conditions and policies.
In the wake of Covid-19, light was shed on the often tragically lacking conditions of nursing homes nationwide. In a press release last week, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) announced that Governor Newsom signed the following five bills into law in an attempt to address the growing problems in California nursing homes.
- 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.
The sixth bill that was vetoed by Newsom was AB 279 which would have prevented nursing home residents from being evicted during the Covid-19 state of emergency.
While these are great steps forward in guaranteeing better conditions and treatment within nursing homes and care facilities, there is still a lot of work to do. We at Gharibian Law hope to see more changes in the future, and continue to fight for those who are abused by the system.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of elder abuse, please call us (866-642-5915) so we can fight for the justice you deserve.
October 6, 2021
It’s easy to feel helpless and stressed in the face of life’s changes, especially when you are responsible for the welfare of a family member who cannot speak or advocate for themselves. To help you take action, we’ve collected 5 ways you, as a caregiver, can advocate on behalf of your loved one, and ensure they are getting the fair treatment and care they deserve.
1. Contact an Aging Life Care Specialist
The Aging Life Care Association will help you find a specialist who can walk you through everything from home care to insurance, to crisis intervention and conservatorship.
2. Become an Essential Caregiver
We’ve talked about this legislation before, but it is important enough to mention again. Essential Caregivers are allowed inside care facilities to take care of and visit loved ones during the Covid-19 Pandemic. You can read more about the Essential Caregivers Act here. This is one of the best ways to ensure your loved one receives regular visitors and gets the care they need at their senior living facility.
3. Get In Touch with Your Local Ombudsman.
A long-term care ombudsman is responsible for advocating for the rights of those living in care facilities. If you have questions, or need someone to take charge of a situation, the ombudsman can help you get the help and information you need. Care facilities are required to have the phone number of your local ombudsman displayed prominently. Wise and Healthy Aging provides more information about ombudsmen and their role in elderly care and rights.
4. Contact Your Congressman
Occasionally there are laws and acts proposed in Congress that improve assisted care facility policies and provide more funds and grants dedicated to taking care of elders across the country. We recently posted about one of these proposed laws, and encourage you to contact your congressman to implore them to take action on these policies. It is one of the best ways to utilize the law to advocate for those who can’t advocate for themselves.
When a situation has gone far enough and you know your loved one has been taken advantage of or abused, call Gharibian Law (866-642-5915). While a lawsuit might seem daunting, we are here to guide you through the process and give you the best legal representation possible.
September 30, 2021
If you are a senior citizen, or if you’re caring for a senior citizen, then you know how overwhelming it is to sort through all of the resources available to you and make sure you are receiving the best information.
Here are five great resources available to anyone making an informed decision regarding the rights, benefits, and safety of themselves or a family member.
The City of Los Angeles Department of Aging has tons of resources that cover almost any area of living, education, health, and finance relevant to senior citizens. They offer counseling services for Medicare, information regarding memory problems, housing options, and more.
Similar to the Department of Aging, the Department of Social Services has a long list of resources that can help you and your loved one decide what best serves them. Just a few of the services you can learn about are In Home Supportive Services, retirement living and continuing care, and the rights provided by Adult Protective Services.
The Department of Financial Protection and Innovation has two key resources we wanted to share: the Check Before You Invest worksheet, and the info sheet on Financial Elder Abuse. Elders are often targeted for financial scams, so knowing your rights and the common ways scammers take advantage is critical to protecting yourself and your loved ones.
AmeriCorps and their volunteer programs provide companion services to elderly residents across the country. Their services are a great way to make sure there is someone there to help your loved one when you can’t be there. They do everything from dropping off groceries to spending an afternoon as a friend.
This podcast is a great way to continue your education regarding your own care as you age, or that of a loved one. In some of their episodes, the hosts consult professionals and advocates on topics like The Care of Individuals with Dementia, Understanding Person-Centered Care, and more!
And, of course, if you or your loved one experiences abuse, we at Gharibian Law will fight for you. Don’t hesitate to contact us by phone (866-958-4052) or email (email@example.com) to learn more about our services.
September 29, 2021
Tell Congress to Support Nursing Home Provisions and Elder Justice Act Provisions in Current Budget and Reconciliation Package
We have a huge opportunity to get meaningful nursing home reforms passed into law!
Congress is getting together to pass a budget reconciliation package and there are several important nursing home provisions, from the “Nursing Home Improvement and Accountability Act of 2021” (HR 5169) currently included and being marked up. Language from the Elder Justice Reauthorization Act (HR 4969) is included as well. We encourage you to reach out to your representatives and ask them to support these provisions!
The nursing home provisions will promote:
- Improved accuracy and reliability of data submitted to CMS through the payroll-based journal and quality measures or resident assessment data. This is important for obtaining accurate data on staffing levels and resident outcomes. Additionally, this data is also used for determining nursing home star ratings through the federal government’s 5-Star Rating System – consumers deserve accurate data to make informed choices about where to turn for care.
- Auditing of cost reports. This is necessary to ensure transparency for the billions of dollars of public funds the facilities receive and help determine whether these funds are being used appropriately for the care of residents.
- Review of and improvements to the survey and enforcement system. This is needed to hold facilities accountable for meeting federal quality standards.
- A process for establishing minimum staffing standards in federal regulations. Consumer Voice has been advocating for minimum staffing standards for years. This is the opportunity to start the process and ensure adequate staffing for nursing home consumers.
The Elder Justice Act provides:
- Increased funding for the long-term care (LTC) ombudsman program, to support training and response to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
- Funding for long term care workforce development in the form of grants to states and territories for wage subsidies, student loan repayment or tuition assistance, childcare, and transportation assistance.
- Grants and training for community-based organizations: to conduct outreach and interventions for individuals at risk for social isolation or loneliness.
Tell Congress to support the nursing home provisions and Elder Justice Act provisions included in the current budget and reconciliation package.
December 3, 2020
Long before COVID-19 reached eldercare facilities and began sickening residents and staff members, state officials were aware that most Californian nursing homes had severe problems of all kinds. According to Nursing Home Compare, just in one facility, Californian inspectors identified 85 infringements last year, including not providing dental care to a resident and letting pressure sores to advance in another one.