Last Updated on: 4th November 2021, 03:15 pm

By: William M. Berman, Attorney at Law

CALIFORNIA — When California’s state budget was recently signed, a little-publicized line-item veto eliminated 100 percent of state funding for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. This served as a devastating blow to several nonprofit agencies that provide critical services to our elderly population.

California’s Ombudsman Program serves as an advocate for the rights of elderly patients who reside in nursing homes. Many of the elderly in our society have no friends or family who visit or advocate on their behalf. The Ombudsman Program attempted to fill this void by receiving and investigating complaints regarding the quality of care. Many elder advocates consider the program a vital watchdog for a very vulnerable portion of our society, and the first line of defense against the rampant abuse and neglect that unfortunately plagues many of the nursing homes operating within the state.

The elimination of this funding came at a particularly bad time considering the Department of Health and Human Services had just released a report that found more than 90 percent of nursing homes were cited for violations of federal health and safety standards. Problems included infected bedsores, medication mix-ups, poor nutrition and abuse and neglect of patients.

In California, conditions were even worse where 99 percent of nursing homes were found to have received stated deficiencies.

For those with family members or friends in nursing homes, there is no better time to visit them regularly and be observant. Having potentially lost a great advocate, we must all work together to stop the mistreatment that regularly plagues our elderly population. Many of the elderly individuals in the nursing facilities are living out their remaining years and deserve to be treated with the utmost care, dignity and respect.

William M. Berman lives and works in Carmel Valley as an attorney with the firm Berman & Riedel, LLP, where he concentrates his practice in the area of elder abuse and neglect.

About Berman & Riedel, LLP firm managing partner attorney William M. Berman:

Attorney William M. Berman focuses his practice in the areas of catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death and elder abuse and neglect. Strictly a plaintiffs’ dedicated firm, he never represents insurance companies in the defense of claims. Mr. Berman’s firm remains staunchly committed to helping those who have suffered serious injury or loss due the negligence, intentional misconduct or wrongful acts of others.

Mr. Berman has grown his firm to what is considered one of the largest and most successful elder abuse/neglect practices within California. Through his continued successes in handling claims involving nursing home and elder abuse and neglect, Mr. Berman remains a prominent figure in advocating on behalf of this vulnerable class of citizens.

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Attorney Bill Berman

William M. Berman, Esquire
Berman & Riedel, LLP
12264 El Camino Real, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92130
ph: (858) 350-8855
fax: (858) 350-9855
web: www.bermanlawyers.com