A budget package Arnold Schwarzenegger signed on October 8 prevents felons from working in California’s in-home care program. According to this article, the new law broadens the definition of what will disqualify someone from participating in the program to include those convicted of child abuse, elder abuse, or welfare fraud. If someone’s caregiver is banned under the new provision, the recipient of care would be given an explanation, and have the option of signing a waiver to allow care from felons of a minor offenses.
Currently, through the In-Home Supportive Services program, individuals convicted of rape, elder abuse and assault are not prevented from caring for the disabled and elderly. Also, if an investigator were to find that an in-home caregiver has a history of felony conviction, they are prevented from telling care recipients.
“This appears to be a major, necessary step forward to address the safety of vulnerable elderly and disabled Californians,” said Eileen Carroll, deputy director of the Adult Programs Division of the California Department of Social Services. “It gives us important new tools to ensure that serious and violent felons can be excluded from providing care in this program.”
These updated laws may help prevent elderly abuse, but if you are concerned about protecting yourself or an elderly loved one in your life from injury due to nursing home abuse, as a personal injury lawyer I urge you to contact the Nagelberg Bernard Law Group to evaluate your case.