CARR's Watchdog and Advocacy articles keep consumers and interested professionals apprised of trending issues in the both the regulatory and industry arenas.
The July 2011 disclosures by San Diego's Channel 8 News that Department of Social Services (DSS) is investigating bribery allegations against three Licensing Program Analysts (LPAs) from San Diego's Community Licensing (CCL) Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) unit, should be a wakeup call for DSS/CCL to evaluate its management metrics. According to the 760 KFMB AM Talk Radio's story posted 1 July 2011, "Records Released in State Licensing Bribery Investigation" the licensing inspector Conchita Valero "repeatedly cleared complaints filed against the operation of a Mira Mesa," RCFE.
Preventing elder abuse is everybody's business. If your loved one is a resident in assisted living, keep a close watch on that person, and the other residents in the facility for that matter. Watch for unexplained bruising, skin tears, decubitus ulcers and other tell-tale signs. And remember its not just physical abuse (slapping, hitting), psychological abuse (yelling, screaming), it is also NEGLECT.
Neglect can manifest as bed sores on the back, buttocks, heels, and elbows. Be especially watchful if your resident is bedridden or is under a Total Care Waiver. As you know, assisted living facilities are understaffed by regulation (". . . staff in sufficient number to care for resident needs. . ."), so often facilities don't have sufficient staff to comply with standard protocols of turning residents every two hours. The following information was prepared by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA).
Despite the ongoing concerns of CARR and other statewide advocates, California’s Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing (DSS/CCL) recently released a set of guidelines permitting assisted living facilities to use video surveillance in both common and private areas of facilities. The set of guidelines was reported to have been issued in response to the growing use of video surveillance systems in California’s assisted living facilities by facilities themselves.
By now, we all know someone contending with the needs of an aging family member. And while aging and dependency are not synonymous, there does come a point in time (be it brief or extended) where reliance on others will enter the picture. Sound familiar:
A dramatic 9-1-1 audio clip documents the call made by a staff member of Glenwood Gardens (a Brookdale Assisted Living community in Bakersfield, CA) requesting an emergency response to help a resident – Ms. Bayless. We hear the 9-1-1 dispatcher plead with the staff member to administer CPR to the resident. The staff member refuses, citing facility policy. The EMTs arrive, the resident is not breathing, and is pronounced dead at the hospital. It is unfortunate it takes a disturbing event to capture our attention, but nonetheless, this single event has finally prompted a worldwide discussion about the care provided within assisted living* facilities. All media forums have been buzzing about the legal, ethical, and practical implications of the staff member’s actions. CARR was contacted by local media (Channel 6 (Chrisy Selder), and KPBS (Chris Murphy) to give context to the event. In sound bites we could not share enough for the consumer, so we conclude the commentary here.