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Fight Elder Abuse and Neglect

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If you live in California, here is an easy way to fight Elder Abuse and Neglect.  Please take five minutes to read the info below and then follow the instructions to write a letter urging your Assembly Person to support AB 399.
Abuse and neglect are growing problems in California nursing homes, as shown by a near doubling of complaints since 2004. In 2005, the California Department of Health Services (DHS) received 21,388 complaints against nursing homes,many of them self-reported by facilities. DHS is the state agency that inspects nursing homes and enforces nursing home laws.An effective complaint investigation system is the foremost public safeguard against abuse and neglect of nursing home residents. Most residents are very vulnerable, highly dependent on their caregivers and often afraid to complain about mistreatment. Complaints that are filed must be treated as a warning signal and investigated quickly and thoroughly.

AB 399 will help fight abuse and neglect by improving the timing and quality of nursing home complaint investigations. It will require DHS to:
• Complete complaint investigations within 40 working days
• Send complainants a written summary of findings about their complaint
• Investigate facility-reported complaints of abuse and neglect within the same timeframes as public complaints

On March 27, 2007, the Assembly Health Committee passed AB 399. It will next be considered by the Assembly Appropriations Committee, then by the full Assembly, where every Assembly Member’s vote will be important.You can help by writing your Assembly Member and urging him or her to vote "yes" on AB 399. A sample letter is provided below. Please send CANHR a copy of your letter.You can find the name of your Assembly member and contact information at: http:///

Dear Assembly Member _______________:
I urge you to support AB 399 (Feuer), which will aid victims of abuse and neglect by improving nursing home complaint investigations. Currently, many complaint investigations are not completed timely and residents are exposed to neglect and abuse long after it has been reported to the California Department of Health Services. AB 399 establishes practical investigation requirements that are achievable now without additional cost due to a major staffing increase funded last year.Please help fight abuse and neglect by voting "yes" on AB 399.

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