It may have already been difficult to decide to place your loved one in a nursing home care facility. But what is unacceptable is if a security guard, receptionist, nurse, or other care facility staff member denies you access to seeing your loved one. Continue reading to learn what you should do if you are denied visitation rights and how an experienced California nursing home abuse lawyer at Cowdrey & Jenkins LLP can stand by your side throughout.
What types of visitors are automatically granted access to a nursing home resident?
Notably, federal law holds that certain individuals must be automatically granted access to seeing a nursing home resident. This is because such individuals may need to be present to work in the best interest of the resident. Examples of such individuals are as follows:
- A nursing home resident’s primary physician.
- A nursing home resident’s primary representative and/or legal guardian.
- A representative from a California protection and/or advocacy agency (i.e., the Department of Health).
- A representative from the California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.
- A federal or California government inspector.
What should I do if I am denied visitation rights to a nursing home resident?
First of all, you must understand that nursing home care facilities that are part of the Medicare or Medicaid program are required to give nursing home residents the right to welcome visitors. Though, there are reasonable exceptions to this. For example, a visitor may be denied access if a resident does not wish to see them. Or, a vistor may be barred from entering a nursing home if they pose an immediate danger to a resident.
But if you are a family member who is being denied visitation rights to your loved one’s nursing home for no apparent legal reason, then you must contact the proper authorities. This is because prohibiting visitors is often a sign that abuse or neglect is occurring behind the scenes. That is, the facility may be trying to hide the fact that your loved one has bruises on their body, appears malnourished, or is vocally unhappy, among other things.
So firstly, you may submit a complaint to California Adult Protective Services at 1-833-401-0832, which may almost instantaneously prompt an investigation into possible abuse or neglect occurring in your loved one’s nursing home. Then, if this suspected abuse or neglect is confirmed, you may call an elder abuse lawyer to kickstart a lawsuit against the nursing home.
As you may likely conclude yourself, you may have an important elder abuse case on your hands that requires immediate action (i.e., there is a two-year statute of limitations). So you should not hesitate in reaching out to a skilled California elder abuse lawyer at Cowdrey & Jenkins LLP.