On January 13th
, CANHR and an impressive coalition of California legislators and advocacy organizations announced the introduction of the Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) Reform Act of 2014
at a press conference in the State Capitol. The RCFE Reform Act includes more than a dozen bills that respond to multiple scathing investigative reports about abuse and neglect involving RCFEs in California and Community Care Licensing’s failure to protect residents from harm. Senators Marty Block, Ellen Corbett, Mark Leno, and Assembly Members Susan Talamantes Eggman, Brian Maienschein, Nancy Skinner, Marie Waldron, and Mariko Yamada discussed the bills and answered media questions.
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San Francisco Chronicle Exposes Deplorable Conditions at Eden Manor and Valley Springs Manor
A blizzard of media reports since October have exposed the plight of 19 residents of Valley Springs Manor in Castro Valley who were abandoned by its owner during its closure, and Community Care Licensing’s negligent response. On January 19th
, the San Francisco Chronicle published an award-worthy examination of equally disturbing conditions at Eden Manor in Oakland, owned by the same operator, Herminigilda Manuel. The article, How State’s Failures Put 2 Care Homes’ Residents at Risk
, explores the connections between the two disasters and cites CANHR’s efforts to have Manuel barred from running any assisted living homes.
DPH Taken to Task for Neglecting Nursing Home Complaints
On January 21st
, the Assembly Committees on Health and Aging and Long-Term Care held a joint hearing to address the Department of Public Health’s (DPH’s) longstanding failures to conduct timely and meaningful investigations of nursing home complaints. The hearing addressed the DPH’s huge backlog of nursing home complaints and responded to the Center for Investigative Reporting’s report
that the DPH’s Professional Certification Branch routinely conducts cursory and indifferent investigations of misconduct by certified nursing assistants and in-home health aides. Testifying for CANHR, Pat McGinnis called for leadership change at the DPH and legislative reforms. The hearing concluded with powerful testimonies from two complainants, Marian Hollingsworth and Stephanie Sherman, who described the DPH’s dreadful responses to complaints of neglect that were related to the death of their parents. A video of the hearing is posted on the Cal Channel
California and the Country Losing Two Congressional Advocates
Congressman George Miller (D-CA), who has represented the 11th Congressional District in Northern California since 1974, and Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA), who has represented the 33rd District in Southern California since 1975, have announced their intentions to retire at the end of this congressional session. For over 40 years, both Congressman Miller and Congressman Waxman have been fierce advocates for education, health care, and social justice, and both were instrumental in the passage of the Affordable Care Act. They say that everyone is replaceable, but we think these are the exceptions. George Miller and Henry Waxman leave very big shoes to fill.
Be On Guard for the “Accredited” VA Aid and Attendance Benefit Advisor
In a recent article in the New York Times
, reporter Jessica Silver-Greenberg reports that questionable individuals are becoming accredited by the VA with the idea of enriching themselves at veterans’ expense. Although not all accredited advisors are bad, the article explores how some advisors use the trust gained through their credentials to persuade veterans to make ill-advised financial decisions in pursuit of VA Aid and Attendance benefits, sometimes leading to a veteran's financial ruin. A cautionary tale about new age financial scams that target elderly veterans, the article is a must read for anyone interested in financial elder abuse.
ACA Resources Now Available on CANHR Website
An Affordable Care Act resources page has been added to the CANHR website to direct consumers to the appropriate agencies to get their questions answered. The three programs covered under the resources page are Covered California, the state's private health insurance market place where individuals and small businesses can buy coverage; Medi-Cal Expansion, for low income individuals under 64 with no asset test required; and Cal MediConnect, the "California Duals Demonstration" taking place in eight counties for seniors and persons with disabilities that are dual eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits. For more information, see our resources page:
Relationships: Moving Away from Drugs to Comfort-Focused Dementia Care. The symposium is designed to teach non-pharmacologic interventions for the treatment of people with dementia and why such options are superior to psychotropic drugs. Speakers will include Jonathan Evans, President of American Medical Directors Association, and Tena Alonzo, Co-director of Palliative Care at the Beatitudes campus in Phoenix, AZ. The event is sponsored by CANHR, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, Alliance on Aging, Advocacy Inc., and The Alzheimer's Association. FREE CEUs credit available.
2800 Mission College Blvd.
, the Senate and Assembly Human Services Committees will hold a joint hearing from 9 a.m. to noon in Hearing Room 4203 at the Capitol in Sacramento to discuss how to increase accountability of assisted living facilities. Patricia McGinnis, CANHR’s Executive Director, is an invited witness and will be speaking on actions that are needed to improve care and oversight in these facilities. Telecast plans are not yet known, but the hearing is likely to be aired by the