Elderly Care

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Getting ready for emergency care for the elderly

This article was originally published in The Sacramento Bee. There is no dispute here – the elderly are coming and in unprecedented numbers. Their arrival promises to have a lasting impact on California’s health system. The state’s Department of Aging estimates that the 60-plus population is on course to have doubled between 1990 and 2020. The most frail of our residents...

Deadly Neglect

County Approves Care-Home Reforms

This article first appeared in U-T San Diego. San Diego County officials launched an effort to protect residents of assisted living centers on Tuesday, increasing oversight staff, focusing prosecutions and partnering to offer more site-specific information for consumers. County supervisors agreed to double the staff in their Long-Term Care Ombudsman program to eight full-time positions, reversing...

Deadly Neglect

Assisted Living Home Probes Too Slow, Say Complaints

This article first appeared in U-T San Diego. Two days after Gary Ernst moved his 89-year-old mother into The Manse assisted living home in Vista, he found her badly infected, dehydrated and covered in bruises. She was rushed to Tri-City Medical Center and responded favorably to treatment, but Ernst moved her out of the home and filed a complaint with regulators about the neglect and abuse he...

Deadly Neglect

Lawmakers hear assisted-living concerns

This article originally appeared in the U-T San Diego State regulators are fundamentally failing residents of assisted living homes for the elderly, leading to abuse, neglect and death, according to testimony on Tuesday at two legislative hearings. Complaints to the departments of Public Health and Social Services are closed without thorough investigation, witnesses told lawmakers, or they are...

Deadly Neglect

Investigative reports spark hearings on assisted living homes

Three key committees of the California Legislature will hold hearings Feb. 11 in Sacramento to probe problems with assisted living homes in the state. The hearings come after U-T San Diego reported that at least 27 seniors died due to neglect and poor care in the past five years in homes in San Diego County. The newspaper and the California Healthcare Foundation Center for Health...

Deadly Neglect

Search assisted living violations data for SD County

U-T Watchdog, as a public service, requested from the California Department of Social Services citation data for local assisted- living homes, from 2008 through May of this year. Search here to learn about San Diego County facilities. For more details on citations and violations, case files are available at 7575 Metropolitan Drive in Mission Valley. Also, the advocacy group Consumer...

Deadly Neglect

Assisted living fines often go uncollected

When the California Department of Social Services issues fines to assisted living homes for failing to properly care for elderly residents, the owners are told to pay within 10 days. That’s not what usually happens. Since July 2007, the department has collected only half of the $2.9 million in penalties it levied against facilities statewide, according to a U-T Watchdog review of...

Deadly Neglect

Rules let sicker clients into living centers

Silvergate assisted living center in San Marcos. (Ricky Young/U-T San Diego)   One factor contributing to medical errors at assisted living homes is that California regulators over the past decade have opened the doors of the facilities to ever sicker seniors by changing the rules. Families have increasingly turned to assisted living, attracted both by the homelike atmosphere and...

Deadly Neglect

Medical errors plague care homes

At least 80 times in recent years, employees at San Diego County assisted living homes overlooked serious medical issues, gave the wrong medication or otherwise failed to properly care for vulnerable seniors. The problems arose as a result of the unique position held by the care homes, viewed by many families as health-care facilities even though they lack the required levels of training,...

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