Archive for the ‘abandoned’ Category

Alameda County: Assisted living reform advocates hope new director will overhaul state’s licensing agency

November 20, 2013

The California agency criticized for its botched closure of a Castro Valley assisted living home is on the hunt for a new director — and it must choose from a pool of state workers unless Gov. Jerry Brown appoints an outside figure.
 

An internal hire is unlikely to satisfy senior advocates demanding a major shake-up at the Department of Social Services’ Community Care Licensing Division.

“They need an overhaul of that department,” said Patricia McGinnis, director of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. “Unless they have a complete change of attitude, unless they have a complete change of guard, I don’t see how things are going to be any different.”

The agency drew outrage last month for allowing more than a dozen frail residents to be left at Valley Springs Manor without proper care after the state had ordered the home closed. An internal review is now looking into what went wrong.

It was the previous head of the division, Jeffrey Hiratsuka, who initiated formal proceedings in May to revoke the license of the Castro Valley facility and ban its owners from ever running such a home again.

That was after complaints by residents and advocates against Valley Springs and a sister home in Oakland began mounting last year. The complaints led to unannounced state inspections that discovered numerous violations and forced the ouster of the homes’ longtime administrator, according to state records.

Hiratsuka, who could not be reached for comment, retired this summer after fours years directing the division and a total of 12 years working in its Sacramento headquarters. A staff newsletter commended the 61-year-old for guiding “the program through some of the worst economic and budget times ever experienced in the state.”

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Alameda County: Assisted living reform advocates hope new director will overhaul state’s licensing agency

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Castro Valley care home patients abandoned

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Cooks, Caregivers Struggled to Aid Abandoned Care Home Patients

November 2, 2013

Maurice Rowland knew that the closure notice stuck on the front door of his workplace meant the assisted-living residential facility was to be closed Thursday night because of a license revocation.

But why, he wondered, were 19 of the center’s 32 residents still there – some with Alzheimer’s, others with what he believed to be schizophrenia, all of them hungry and wanting dinner.

Almost all the caregivers had left. The manager and owners were nowhere to be found. Rowland was the cook, hired three months earlier to prepare meals for the residents at Valley Springs Manor in Castro Valley.

“I didn’t know what was going on, but I couldn’t just leave them there,” Rowland said Tuesday from his Hayward home. “We had built a friendship. So I did the best I could.”

Over the next 40 hours, Rowland and two caregivers – none of whom had been scheduled to work or asked by management to stay – frantically cooked, cleaned and bathed the residents, gave them their medications, and helped them in and out of their beds and wheelchairs. But they were in over their heads, and there were medication foul-ups. Residents became ill, and Rowland and the caregivers called 911 six or seven times, he said, before emergency responders finally took the last of the residents Saturday.

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Cook, Caregivers Struggled to Aid Center’s Residents

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Castro Valley Care Home Patients Abandoned

Castro Valley care home patients abandoned

October 29, 2013

Fourteen sick and elderly patients were abandoned at a Castro Valley assisted living facility when the staff apparently walked out Thursday after the state ordered the home closed, Alameda County sheriff’s deputies said.

Paramedics called to Valley Manor Residential Care at 17926 Apricot Way on Saturday afternoon found a notice on the door from the state Department of Social Services ordering the site to be closed as of Oct. 24.

Inside, they found the patients, many of them bedridden, attended by only a handful of staff members.

“Thursday came around, and the majority of the staff left and the majority of the patients remained,” said sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson.

The staff members who stayed, including a cook, a janitor and what is believed to be a single caretaker, “stayed because they felt bad for the patients,” Nelson said. “They weren’t getting paid or anything.”

The patients all were taken by ambulance to other centers in the county, and none seemed to be suffering additional health problems from their abandonment.

The transport wasn’t easy, Nelson added.

“We had people who were bedridden, in wheelchairs, amputees and people with mental problems. It ran the gamut,” he said.

Deputies are still trying to determine how many people were at the center when it closed to ensure that none of the patients had wandered off on their own, Nelson said.

As of Saturday night, sheriff’s investigators had not been in touch with the center’s owners or the state officials responsible for the closure.

“Right now we have a lot more questions than answers,” Nelson said. “There’s a question of what happens when the state closes a home, whether they send anyone in afterward to see what happened.”

The incident is being treated as a criminal case, and the investigation is continuing.

“All we know is that 14 people were left here today that shouldn’t have been there by themselves,” Nelson said.

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Castro Valley care home patients abandoned