San Francisco Agency Facing Scrutiny Over Elderly Neglect
A criminal trial in San Francisco this month revealed widespread failures in the city's Adult Protective Services agency, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The case accused two private caregivers of neglect contributing to an elderly patient's death.
The case has prompted the city to increase agency staffing by 10 social workers, one supervisor and one clerk. A 2005 city investigation of another abuse and neglect case prompted Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) to hire 14 more social workers, a process that is under way.
Anne Hinton -- head of the San Francisco Health and Human Services Agency's Aging and Adult Services division, which oversees Adult Protective Services -- said APS in 2006 handled about 333 new investigations monthly, compared with an average of 184 monthly cases in 2000.
The caseload statewide for similar county agencies has increased from 82,000 abuse and neglect reports to 102,000 annually over the last five years, according to Hinton.
Hinton said the most recent case represents a lack of training by the agency, which she says is not staffed adequately. She added that the city elderly population has increased steadily and will continue to increase during the next few years as the baby boomer population retires (Van Derbeken, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/6).