Although we have been less than pleased with the lack of follow-through from the governmental agencies assigned to grapple with elder abuse, we encourage those advocating for an elderly loved one be educated on their resources if abuse or lack of care is suspected. Getting a citation or official dialogue with these agencies in writing is a smart move for protecting your loved one and for potential evidence for criminal proceedings and/or litigation.
If you are dealing with a Residential Care Facility (or “RCFE”), you call the county Ombudsman. The Ombudsman are social workers who may not have sophisticated medical knowledge, but have the power to investigate and then report anything suspect to the district Community Care Licensing (CCL) who oversees the operations of these facilities. CCL has the power to issue citations and fines for RCFE oversights.
If you suspect sub-par care and/or abuse in a nursing home, you should contact the CA Department of Health (DPH) who will subsequently dispatch a nurse to investigate and issue citations if abuse is evidenced. Although the DPH communicates directly with the complainant via telephone and letter, it is important to diligently follow up as the DPH is a highly bureaucratic entity and isn’t always the best at follow-up.
The linked article outlines this: https://www.nursinghomeabuse.org/articles/reporting-nursing-home-abuse/?fbclid=IwAR3ce-3WGTs-sQgiaoamh7EXcwoGsUcGWAnRfAch8vMBhd6su_TzGO-8Tb8