Nursing home neglect is a serious problem that can result in severe personal injuries to the elderly. Signs of nursing home neglect, according to a fact sheet from the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) and the Administration on Aging (AoA), often include “hazardous or unsafe living conditions,” as well as “unsanitary and unclean living conditions.” A recent article in the Contra Costa Times identifies a former elderly care home in Castro Valley that is currently under investigation by state and county agencies for “cramped and dirty conditions.”
What happened in this elderly care home, and why did it take so long for authorities to learn about potentially hazardous conditions inside?
Filthy Living Conditions and Absentee Caregivers Signal Cause for Alarm
According to the article, neighbors close to the facility, Accent Garden Care Home on Tanglewood Drive, suspected something might be wrong and that the seniors living inside might not be receiving proper care after realizing that the caregivers were not present. Some of the neighbors were invited inside the home, where they described “trash strewn throughout the home, no heat, and a wheelchair ramp outside used by residents [that] was rotted.” One of the neighbors described the facility as “absolutely filthy,” noting that “the floor was filled with dirty clothes and garbage.”
After learning about the conditions inside the facility, the California Department of Social Services, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, and Alameda County Adult Protective Services started an investigation. At least five adults currently live inside the home, including the owner and his son. Since the allegations, at least one of the elderly residents has requested a move to a different facility.
Details About the Elderly Care Home
Accent Garden Home Care was licensed through the state of California until November 2014. According to a spokesperson for the California Department of Social Services, “the care home racked up 22 violations of direct threats to the health and safety of its residents, as well as eight lesser threats to people who lived there.”
The owner of the home indicated that she currently leases it to her nephew. The nephew indicated that he “provides one warm meal a day to tenants and rents rooms for about $800 a month, mainly to people [who] have little money and few options.” He also contends that, since the residents do not require medical assistance, he does not need to be licensed by the state as a residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE).
However, the home does not even have a use permit. As the article explains, a use permit is “required for boarding house-style residences that rent to four or more people.” Even when representatives for the Contra Costa Times went into the elderly care home through an invitation from one of the elderly residents, they noted dirty conditions, limited seating, and lack of access to a functioning kitchen.
Nursing home neglect can result in serious and debilitating injuries to California seniors. If you have questions about a loved one’s quality of care in a local nursing home or assisted-living facility, you should speak with an experienced San Diego nursing home neglect attorney about your concerns. Contact the Walton Law Firm as soon as possible to learn more about how we can help.
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