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State inspections resume after year-long hiatus

Nursing facilities in California and throughout the country saw limited inspections in parts of 2020 and 2021. This also came at a period when many family members faced prohibitions against seeing loved ones in health care properties.

Some indications suggest that California’s 1,100 nursing homes face many challenges in regards to the care of seniors.

Troubling signs

An investigative report from KPBS news looks at conditions in nursing homes after officials suspended inspections starting in March of 2020. Concerns from nursing home advocates came about because both state inspections and visits from family members often pointed out shortcomings in some facilities.

Reporting indicates that some family members, upon returning to a nursing home in 2021, saw care conditions that had worsened from previous standards. The lack of qualified staff likely contributed to the potential deterioration of care.

One nursing care reform advocate pointed to instances of residents not receiving baths and other hygiene services on a timely basis. Also, residents failed to receive the proper care, resulting in an increased likelihood of bedsores.

The report suggests the problems involve many facilities in California. The California Department of Public Health faces many challenges in bringing care levels back to acceptable standards.

Limited inspections

The CDPH responded that though most inspections stopped for a little more than a year, severe complaints still led to visits from state authorities. Other state programs such as online complaints continued during this time period.

The CDPH allows interested parties to find and compare health care facilities through its website. However, the agency’s website currently cautions that data from 2020 and 2021 may not accurately reflect conditions in some facilities.