Nursing homes are legally obligated to take reasonable steps to inform the person identified as the resident’s contact in the nursing home admission contract or the resident’s responsible person when they are injured or have other changes in their physical or mental status.
Residential care facilities are also required to notify the residents responsible person or contact.
It is a huge red flag when a nursing home fails to inform family members and representatives regarding injuries or other changes in status. If you are concerned, you may contact my office for a free case evaluation.
As you can see below, California and Federal Law are very clear on this point.
Nursing Home – California Health & Safety Code § 1795(a)
Nursing homes are required to make reasonable efforts to notify you if your family member or loved one is injured. Ca. Health and Safety Code §1795(a).
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a skilled nursing facility as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1250 , any intermediate care facility, as defined in subdivision (d) , (e) , (g) , and (h) of Section 1250 , a congregate living facility, as defined in subdivision (i) of Section 1250 , or a hospice facility, as defined in subdivision (n) of Section 1250, shall make reasonable efforts to contact the person named in the resident’s admission agreement as the resident’s contact person, or the resident’s responsible person, within 24 hours after a significant change in the resident’s health or mental status.
Nursing Home – Federal Code of Regulations – 42 CFR 483.10
Federal law also requires notification. See, Residents Rights under 42 CFR 483.10 et seq.
483.10 Resident rights.
(b) Exercise of rights. The resident has the right to exercise his or her rights as a resident of the facility and as a citizen or resident of the United States.
(14) Notification of changes.
(i) A facility must immediately inform the resident; consult with the resident’s physician; and notify, consistent with his or her authority, the resident representative(s), when there is –
(A) An accident involving the resident which results in injury and has the potential for requiring physician intervention;
(B) A significant change in the resident’s physical, mental, or psychosocial status (that is, a deterioration in health, mental, or psychosocial status in either life-threatening conditions or clinical complications);
(C) A need to alter treatment significantly (that is, a need to discontinue or change an existing form of treatment due to adverse consequences, or to commence a new form of treatment); or
(D) A decision to transfer or discharge the resident from the facility as specified in § 483.15(c)(1)(ii).
Residential Care Facility – California Health & Safety Code § 1795(b)
Residential care facilities are required to make reasonable efforts to notify you if your family member or loved one is injured. Ca. Health and Safety Code §1795(b).
What Steps to Take if You Were Not Notified
If your loved one or family member was harmed, or their status changed significantly and you were not notified you should take immediate action.
You should immediately report that failure to the appropriate authorities and/or contact an attorney to assist you with making the report.
If you would like to speak with me, you may contact me for a free and confidential case evaluation.