Report It

How can I report what I suspect are signs of neglect or abuse?

First, report it to the facility’s Administrator and Director of Nursing.

  • Ask questions.  Be sure that your questions are answered completely and that the answers make sense to you.  Be skeptical.  Don’t assume that you are always being told the truth.  If you are not satisfied with an answer, or the answer does not match your observations, demand to speak to the Administrator and the Director of Nursing.
  • Document all complaints in writing to the Administrator.  If you file a complaint on a form given to you by the facility (such as a grievance report form), keep a copy.
  • Next, report it to the proper governmental agency.

HospitalHospitals and Nursing Homes (aka Skilled Nursing Facilities or SNFs)

Hospitals and Nursing Homes are regulated and investigated by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).  Every nursing home is required to post the telephone number and address of the local CDPH office which oversees that facility.  If that number is not posted in the facility, visit the California Department of Public Health website for the number and address of the local CDPH office where you can file a complaint. California law entitles you to remain anonymous, if you so choose.  The CDPH is required to investigate all complaints involving threats of imminent death or serious injury within 24 hours.  All other complaints must be investigated within 10 working days.

Assisted Living Centers / Residential Care Facilities / Adult Day Care Centers

Assisted Living Centers, Residential Care Facilities, Adult Day Care Centers and other community-based homes and centers are regulated and investigated by the Department of Social Services (DSS).  Facilities are required to post the telephone number and address of the local DSS office which oversees that facility.  If that number is not posted in the facility, call information to obtain the number of the local DSS office where you can file a complaint.  California law entitles you to remain anonymous, if you so choose.

In addition to filing a complaint with the appropriate regulatory agency, you may also file an investigative complaint with the district attorney of the city where the facility is located.  You may also file a complaint with state attorney general’s office at (800) 722-0432 or on-line at www.ag.ca.gov/bmfea.

If you have any questions, please contact The Gebler Firm, PC at 1-800-871-6998.  Our staff can explain how to obtain important information about a particular facility, or we can direct you to the governmental agency where you can file a complaint.  In addition, we would be honored to speak with you about your rights, and explain the legal options that are available to you.  Such options may include filing a civil complaint which seeks compensatory damages, civil penalties, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and pain and suffering.  We don’t charge any attorney fees unless we obtain a recovery.

Injured Elder