14 Patients Left Behind After Calif. Assisted-Living Facility Closes
On Saturday, law enforcement officers discovered that an assisted living facility in Castro Valley left 14 residents behind after it was shut down by the California Department of Social Services, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.
Michael Weston, a spokesperson for the social services department, said there was a "history of concerns" with Valley Springs Manor (AP/Sacramento Bee, 10/27).
Social services officials said several problems have been reported at the facility in the past, including:
- A patient who was not supposed to be outside going missing twice in the past month;
- A diabetic patient receiving a drink with sugar;
- Medications distributed incorrectly;
- Patients being locked in their rooms;
- High staff turnover rates; and
- Employees not receiving proper criminal background checks.
Details of Discovery
Social services closed Valley Springs Manor on Thursday, and only three employees stayed behind -- without receiving pay -- to take care of the 14 remaining residents, according to the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.
The residents included:
- Amputees; and
- Elderly individuals with dementia.
On Saturday, the three employees called emergency dispatchers to report the situation.
Weston said, "Apparently, most of the facility staff left behind reached a point where they felt they were unable to care" for the residents.
J.D. Nelson, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office, said law enforcement officers have obtained search warrants and are inspecting the facility.
Nelson also noted that several entities should have been notified of the facility's closure, including:
- The sheriff's office;
- Adult Protective Services; and
- The California Long Term Care Ombudsman program (Hurd et al., Contra Costa Times, 10/27).
Nelson said the sheriff's office's investigation might result in elder abuse charges (AP/Sacramento Bee, 10/27).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.