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Dear Advocate…

Dear Advocate:

How can I file a complaint against my mother’s nursing home? She is often neglected because the nursing home does not have enough staff to care for her and other residents.


Distressed in Daly City

Dear Distressed:

You can file a complaint with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the state agency that licenses and oversees nursing homes. Complaints can be filed by phone, in writing or online with its district offices that are located throughout the state.

By law, CDPH must begin an onsite investigation within ten working days of receiving your complaint, or within 24 hours if it involves a threat of imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm. Investigations must be completed within 60 days of receipt unless there are extenuating circumstances, in which case the deadline can be extended by up to 60 additional days. CDPH must notify you of its findings in writing and provide you an opportunity to appeal if you are dissatisfied with them. CA Health & Safety Code §1420.

For more information on how to file a complaint against a nursing home, see CANHR’s fact sheet on this subject:

Page Last Modified: July 16, 2020