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Elder abuse at Lakeside Park in Oakland: Resident confined and isolated

Elinor Frerichs (91) is a resident at Lakeside Park, an assisted living facility in Oakland, CA. Lakeside Park advertises:

Lakeside Park’s charming location is near scenic Lake Merritt and the popular Lakeside Park with close access to shopping, dining, entertainment and healthcare in Berkeley and all points in the East Bay.

Resident Elinor Frerichs says she would love to go out for lunch or share a visit with a friend. Elinor would especially love to spend time with her husband and “soul mate.”

Executive Director Cheryl Martin does not allow Elinor to leave the facility. Elinor’s husband said he was not allowed to visit Elinor for two years. And Elinor’s long-term friend said she was allowed only two visits with Elinor in the past two years.

This Examiner visited Elinor on September 3, 2014. When Ms. Martin learned that she might be the subject of media interest, she became highly agitated and hostile. She ordered me off the property and called Oakland Police Department to have me removed.

Officer Vierra took Elinor’s statement that she wished the current visit to continue, and she wished to have regular contact with her husband and friends. Officer Vierra managed Ms. Martin’s disturbance in a courteous and professional manner. Ms. Martin’s misconduct proved only a minimal intrusion into Elinor’s rare visit with individuals from outside the facility.

This Examiner submitted the following letter of complaint to Community Care Licensing and the Long-term Care Ombudsman. The letter details numerous licensing violations at Lakeside Park.

Elder rights advocates anticipate that Lakeside Park will be required to honor Elinor’s rights going forward. Elinor anticipates regular visits with her husband and friends and an occasional lunch date in the neighborhood.

Pam Gill, Regional Manager

Eastbay Delta Adult and Senior Care Regional Office

Community Care Licensing Division

Department of Social Services

1515 Clay Street, Suite 310, MS 29-21

Oakland, CA 94612

Telephone: (510) 286-4201;

FAX: (510) 286-4204

pam.gill@dss.ca.gov

Dear Ms. Gill,

Please accept this letter as a complaint of elder abuse and violations of licensing regulations at Lakeside Park at 468 Perkins Street in Oakland, CA (RCFE License #015601384).

On the morning of September 3, 2014, I went to Lakeside Park to visit with resident Elinor Frerichs. Several other individuals met me at Lakeside Park, all with the intention of visiting with Elinor.

Violation of Resident’s Right to Leave the Facility

22 CCR 87468(a)(6) states the resident’s personal right to leave the facility.

"(6) To leave or depart the facility at any time and to not be locked into any room, building, or on facility premises by day or night. This does not prohibit the establishment of house rules, such as the locking of doors at night, for the protection of residents; nor does it prohibit, with permission of the licensing agency, the barring of windows against intruders."

Elinor expressed her dissatisfaction with the “four walls” and stated her desire to go out to lunch with me or with other companions. I invited Elinor to join me for lunch at a nearby restaurant. Executive Director Cheryl Martin stated that Elinor is not allowed to leave the facility. Ms. Martin violated 22 CCR 87468(a)(6), the resident’s right to leave or depart the facility at any time.

Violation of Resident’s Right to Be Informed of Facility’s Policy Regarding Visitation

22 CCR 87468(a)(10) states the resident’s right to be informed of the facility’s policy regarding visitation.

"(10) To be informed of the facility's policy concerning family visits and other communications with residents, as specified in Health and Safety Code section 1569.313."

During the visit, we read the Resident’s Personal rights to Elinor. Elinor stated that she had no prior knowledge of her right to visitation or any facility policy concerning visitation. Ms. Martin violated 22 CCR 87468(a)(10) in not informing Elinor of the facility’s policy regarding visitation.

Violation of Resident’s Right to Visitation & Right to Private Visitation

22 CCR 87468(a)(11) states the resident’s right to visitation and to private visitation.

"(11) To have his/her visitors, including ombudspersons and advocacy representatives permitted to visit privately during reasonable hours and without prior notice, provided that the rights of other residents are not infringed upon."

Executive Director Cheryl Martin did not allow Elinor to have private visitation. We were required to visit in the noisy front lobby with staff, residents, and tradesmen marching past us. Ms. Martin violated 22 CCR 87468(a)(11) in not allowing Elinor to have private visitation.

After Elinor and I had visited for about twenty minutes, Ms. Martin made enquiries concerning my professional affiliations. I provided a business care identifying myself as a National Senior Issues Examiner for Examiner.com. Ms. Martin became extremely agitated and hostile and ordered me to leave immediately. When Elinor stated that she wished me to stay and continue our visit, Ms. Martin called Oakland Police Department to have me removed from the premises. Officer S. Vierra took statements from Elinor, from me, and from a number of witnesses. Officer Vierra was courteous, professional, and he allowed our visit to continue. The incident number was 373.

Elinor’s long-term friend Annette Hornsby reported that on August 30, 2014, Communications Coordinator Linda Ross refused to allow Elinor to visit with Annette. Ms. Ross violated 22 CCR 87468(a)(11) in denying Elinor her right to visit with Ms. Hornsby.

Violation of Right to Telephone Calls

22 CCR 87468(a)(140 states the resident’s right to phone calls.

"(14) To have reasonable access to telephones, to both make and receive confidential calls. The licensee may require reimbursement for long distance calls."

Elinor stated that she has a phone in her room. However, her vision is impaired, and she has need of phone numbers printed in large block letters on white paper. Ms. Martin violated Elinor’s right to reasonable accommodation and she violated 22 CCR 87468(a)(14) in not providing phone numbers of Elinor’s friends and family in large block letters on white paper.

Elinor’s long-term friend Annette Hornsby reported that on August 30, 2014, Communications Coordinator Linda Ross refused to allow Elinor to speak with Annette. Ms. Ross violated 22 CCR 87468(a)(14) in denying Elinor her right to speak with Ms. Hornsby.

Violation of Right to Medical Care

22 CCR 87468(1)(16) states the resident’s right to receive medical care.

"(16) To receive or reject medical care, or other services."

Elinor stated that she has had a tooth ache for an extended period of time. She wishes to visit a dentist of her choice for treatment of the toothache. Ms. Martin is violating 22 CCR 87468(a)(16) in denying Elinor her right to dental care with a dentist of her choice.

Elinor has a number of raised black growths on her face and scalp. Those growths have the appearance of melanomas, skin cancers that can be highly aggressive and potentially fatal. Ms. Martin is violating 22 CCR 87468(a)(16) in denying Elinor prompt treatment for potentially fatal skin cancers. Should the untreated melanomas lead to Elinor’s death, Ms. Martin could be liable for wrongful death and guilty of felony elder abuse.

Violation of Requirement to Provide Copy of Resident’s Rights

22 CCR 87468(b) states the requirement to provide the resident with a copy of the resident’s personal rights.

"(b) At admission, a resident and the resident's responsible person or conservator shall be personally advised of and given a list of these rights. The licensee shall have each resident and the resident's responsible person or conservator sign a copy of these rights, and the signed copy shall be included in the resident's record."

On September 3, 2014, visitors read the resident’s personal rights to Elinor. Elinor stated that she had not been informed of those rights and had no prior knowledge of those rights. Ms. Martin violated 22 CCR 87468(b) in failing to inform Elinor of her personal rights.

I look forward to your Department’s prompt action to secure Elinor’s personal rights, including her right to unobstructed private visitation and needed medical care. Please provide a copy of your investigation report and citations to the physical address or email address on my letterhead.

Sincerely,

Linda Kincaid, MPH

C:

Will Lightbourne

Director - California Department of Social Services

will.lightbourne@dss.ca.gov

Pat Leary

Chief Deputy Director - California State Department of Social Services

Pat.Leary@dss.ca.gov