The October 24-27, 2013 Consumer Voice conference in Washington, DC brought advocates and experts from across the county to discuss long-term care facilities. Prevention of elder abuse was a leading topic.
A panel discussed Engaging Family in Advocacy. This Examiner had the privilege of leading a discussion titled Toward a National Model for Advocacy.
The discussion emphasized the need for families of victims to collaborate with other families and with independent advocates. Case studies from California emphasized the frustrations of families attempting to advocate independently for an abused or neglected loved one. However, coalitions that focused multiple families and advocates toward a common goal were more effective.
Wildwood Canyon Villa in San Bernardino County was the first facility discussed. Citations from Department of Social Services (DSS) establish that Wildwood Canyon Villa unlawfully confined and isolated a resident for fifteen months. Police reports establish that Executive Director Lynnette Alvarado refused to allow family to visit. Alvarado stated that corporate instructions were to have visitors arrested for trespassing.
Court records show that family eventually obtained a restraining order against the unlawful and abusive isolation at Wildwood. That effort required sixteen court hearings over fifteen months. It cost family $70K to require Wildwood to follow the law and allow their loved one to have visitors.
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Consumer Voice conference discusses elder abuse in long-term care