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Former investigator concerned with handling of elder abuse cases

People who place elderly loved ones in the care of nursing homes in Springfield put a great deal of trust into the home’s caregivers. The violation of that trust through abuse can be heartbreaking, and often can have tragic consequences. What makes nursing home abuse all the more egregious is that it is perpetrated against victims that have little to no capacity to defend themselves from it. In such cases, it may up to the family and friends of those victims to fight for them. However, the difficulty in taking up that fight is knowing in whom one can trust to handle these claims of abuse.

A disturbing trend has recently been highlighted in California regarding potential neglect in the investigation of allegations of elder abuse in nursing homes. A former Department of Health worker familiar with these investigations has shed light on the department’s past mishandling of claims, with many complaints filed away for years before action was taken. While new leadership of the department has initiated changes in the handling of nursing home complaints, the former investigator continues to be concerned about what he perceives to be a misguided emphasis on resolving complaints quickly rather than correctly. He points out new department policies that encourage investigators to close cases rapidly, with some even being investigated by phone rather than in person. While the department acknowledges that some cases have been mishandled, it defends its new policies, saying they have greatly reduced the number of backlogged complaints.

Perseverance is often the key in ensuring that a complaint of nursing home abuse is adequately investigated. For families looking to shed light on the abuse of their elderly loved ones, filing a lawsuit with an attorney experienced in handling nursing home abuse cases may be the best course of action.

Source: abc7news.com “Nursing Home Abuse Goes Uninvestigated” Ken Miguel, Sep. 10, 2013

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