Archive for the ‘CANHR’ Category

Linda Kincaid Reports: Elder Advocates Urge Support for California AB937 to Curb Elder Abuse

May 13, 2013

California’s AB937, introduced by Assembly Member Bob Wieckowski,codifies basic personal rights for the state’s most vulnerable citizens. The right to have visitors, the right to receive phone calls, and the right to receive mail are already part of California law. However, these personal rights are often violated by court appointed conservators seeking unbridled power over vulnerable individuals.

Section 2351 of the Probate Code is amended to read:

(a) Subject to subdivision (b), the guardian or conservator, but not a limited conservator, has the care, custody, and control of, and has charge of the education of, the ward or conservatee. This control shall not extend to personal rights retained by the conservatee, including, but not limited to, the right to receive visitors, telephone calls, and personal mail, unless specifically limited by court order.

In favor of the bill are  California Advocateds for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR),  Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR), numerous Long-Term Care Ombudsman and elder advocates throughout the state. Families of abuse victims strongly favor the rights stated in AB937.

Opposing the bill is the Californial Association of Public Administrators, Public Guardians and Public Conservators.  Santa Clara County Public Guardian Don Moody and Director of the California Department of Social Services Will Lightbourne are also on record as opposing personal rights for conservatees.

Opposition from Moody and Lightbourne is not surprising. Moody’s department unlawfully imprisoned and isolated conservatees Gisela Riordan and Lillie Scalia for years. The abuse began when Lightbourne was Santa Clara County Social Services Agency Director. After moving to Sacramento, Lightbourne publicly supported ongoing abuse by Moody. Riordan and Scalia regained their rights only after coverage by the ABC7 I-Team in San Francisco.

AB937 does not change California law. The bill simply clarifies existing personal rights and codifies those rights into the Probate Code.

The full Assembly will vote on AB937 on Thursday, May 16, 2013.
Letters of support can be sent to:
Legislative Aide Heather Falkenthal
Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski
Office: (916) 319 – 2025
Fax: (916) 319 – 2125
Heather.Falkenthal@asm.ca.gov

Full Article and Source:
Elder Advocates Urge Support of California AB937 to Curb Elder Abuse

Read AB937

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Current Women’s Equality Issues Public Policy Conference

February 3, 2013

CANHR’s Executive Director Patricia McGinnis will be a speaker at the Current Women’s Equality Issues Public Policy Conference on Saturday February 9, 2013 at the Ontario Airport Hotel in Ontario, CA.

For More Information

CANHR Lawsuit Targets Nursing Home Management and Fees

December 21, 2012

A lawsuit filed by CANHR against the Department of Public Health and Country Villa Service Corp, challenges the state-approved practice of allowing Country Villa nursing homes to contract out their operations to another entity owned by Country Villa.

The “management’ company then receives a percentage of revenues (often 5%) from the facilities they operate. Besides CANHR, the plaintiffs include Gail Dawson, an individual. CANHR and Ms. Dawson are represented by Russell Balisok and Silvo Nardoni of Glendale. The lawsuit asks for declaratory relief invalidating state statutes as in conflict with federal law; for an order requiring disgorgement of all management fees paid; and for a permanent injunction.

Source:
CANHR Lawsuit Targets Nursing Home Management and Fees

See Also:
Read CANHR’s Lawsuit

Use of Chemical Restraints in Nursing Homes Called an Epidemic

September 26, 2012

Nearly 25 percent of the residents in California’s nursing homes are placed on antipsychotic drugs, often used as sort of a chemical leash to control behavior in a trend a watchdog called an epidemic Thursday at a symposium.

The drugs can double the risk of death for seniors with dementia and cause side effects ranging from stroke to delirium, according to speakers at an Oxnard conference called “Toxic Medicine.” Often the drugs are given in nursing homes or other facilities for dementia without the informed consent of residents or surrogates and are used as a restraint rather than to treat psychiatric conditions.

Over the past decade the use of the drugs has evolved from a sniffle to a flu to something much worse, said Sylvia Taylor Stein, of the Long Term Care Services of Ventura County ombudsman program.

“By 2010 we had an epidemic,” she said in a symposium organized by her group and the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. It was attended by a packed house of nursing home leaders, assisted-living administrators, elder abuse lawyers and state licensing agencies.

Some at the conference linked the use of antipsychotics to staff shortages that make it impossible for employees to properly care for patients, state cuts in mental health programs that have brought more patients with psychiatric problems to long-term care facilities and doctors who have a drug-first mentality when it comes to long-term care residents.

Anthony Chicotel, an attorney with the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, said there are appropriate uses of the medication, such as when a patient has illnesses like schizophrenia. But Medicare statistics from the second quarter of last year showed 24.2 percent of the residents in the state’s nursing homes were on antipsychotics. Medicare statistics from 2009 showed the use of the medication fluctuated greatly at different Ventura County nursing homes — from a low of 7 percent of the patients on the drugs seven days over one week to a high of about 30.6 percent.

Often, use of the drugs becomes ingrained in a long-term care site’s culture, Chicotel said. When patients with dementia or other issues yell in the middle night, hit other residents or try to flee the place, staff members call the physician.

“Hey doc, we have a new resident. He’s out of control. He’s throwing feces. We need a pill,” he said.

Full Article and Source:
Use of Chemical Restraints in Nursing Homes Called an Epidemic

See Also:
CANHR.org

CANHR: STOP Drugging Our Elderly!

September 12, 2012

California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform has launched a campaign to end the misuse of psychoactive drugs in California nursing homes.

Source:
“Stop Drugging Our Elderly” Part 1 of 3 by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform”


Source:
“Stop Drugging Our Elderly” Part 2 of 3 by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform”


Source:
“Stop Druggng Our Elderly” Part 3 of 3 by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform”

See Also:
CANHR.org