A powerful force indeed! Ombudsman Kathy is highlighted in today’s Press Democrat:
Crista Barnett-Nelson, Executive Director for Senior Advocacy Servicers and the Sonoma County Long Term Care Ombudsman program was featured along with county Human Services Department Director on radio and newspaper.
The serious lack of evacuation planning by area facilities was disturbing and the response by the state oversight agency was even more concerning: “But state regulators dismiss the county’s concerns that care homes didn’t have good plans in place, and that they were relying too heavily on public resources. In a written statement, the California Department of Social Services, which regulates assisted living facilities, called the actions of facilities “appropriate,” and said their plans meet state standards.”
The call came in to the Ombudsman of the Day about a week after the 2017 Sonoma County Fires.
“They left my mother in her apartment during the fire!”
Where was your mom living?
“In an assisted living facility. She called me from her apartment during the fire. My mom could see the flames and smell the smoke. She didn’t have any electricity. She is 90 and was scared and she didn’t understand what was going on.”
She wasn’t evacuated?
“No, they left her in her apartment! No one came to help her get out. When she called me, I couldn’t understand and asked her Where are You? She said in her apartment. I couldn’t believe it, so I jumped in my car and drove up there. At first the emergency services refused to let me in and said that the facility had evacuated everyone. I had to convince them that my mom was STILL IN HER APARTMENT!”
Do you know that Senior Advocacy Services relies on the work of our volunteers to reach seniors across Sonoma County? Our next Ombudsman Training begins in August, and we need more volunteers to help advocate for residents of long term care facilities across our county.
On Monday June 24th, KTVU Channel 2 news reached out to Senior Advocacy Services about a story highlighting Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Awareness Month.
Coincidentally, not long before the TV request, the SAS Elder Justice Coordinator, Donata Mikulik, met a community member Ezra Gardener Rust who had fallen victim to a phone scam that cost him approximately $32,000. Read More