Be Ready. Be Covered. Be Sure.

Elder Care, Liability Coverage, and Responsibility: Part 1

One of the first and most important things to do is make sure that any facility helping care for or manage elderly individuals is run properly and follows all relevant regulations. Huge settlements are being paid out for various types of neglect, damage, and targeted harassment.

Con artists in Santa Barbara1 were able to create a relationship with an elderly couple with promises of living wills and lofty returns on Chinese ‘Famer’s Bonds’. After being convinced to take out a third mortgage and pushed to then sell the house, the couple went to the district attorney. While the couple was eventually rewarded for damages, the main culprits had skipped town and a number of companies, including the care center, had to provide financial restitution.

A Sacramento facility had to pay $42.5 million2 in punitive and compensatory damages after a 77-year-old resident died from “drugging…with the prescription drug Avitan without her consent.” Many fingers were pointed over the course of the trial, but clear was that the problem was systematic. Understaffing, lack of knowledge about the medicine, a lack of authorizations, and the absence of a primary care doctor all lead to neglectful death but all should have been addressed by the facility.

The devil is in the details, so the details must be addressed. If management is unaware of a small but common problem that can snowball into a larger issue, they will be in for a rude surprise. Having extensive knowledge of employee actions and resident interactions can aid in preventing litigious complications.

Link to Part 2.

Part 3 coming soon!