Dear Ms. Empasis,
I am certain you must be quite concerned about elder abuse of your client, Margarita Zelada. As you know, elder advocate Dr. Robert Fettgather and I attempted to visit Margarita around noon on Sunday, October 20, 2013.
Senior Paradise, Margarita’s current residence in Del Rey Oaks, had the front door locked in violation of licensing regulations. Three separate locks prevented residents from leaving the facility and prevented visitors from entering the facility.
Senior Paradise Administrators denied our visit, another violation of licensing regulations. In fact, Administrators Margaret Eldred Camara and Judith Pardo-Soto stated they had instructions from you to call the police if anyone attempted to visit Margarita.
Margarita’s family reports that phone calls to Margarita are problematic. I understand Senior Oaks often blocks phone calls, yet another violation of licensing regulations.
You are aware that personal rights in residential care facilities for the elderly include:
- the right to not be locked in any room or building
- the right to have private visitation without prior notice
- the right to confidential phone calls.
Those rights are stated in the Personal Rights form included in Margarita’s file. Those rights are also enumerated in 22 CCR 87468.
(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.
(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.
(14) To have reasonable access to telephones, to both make and receive confidential calls. The licensee may require reimbursement for long distance calls. (Emphasis added)
Additional information on our visit our to Senior Oaks can found in my article covering the incident.
I am certain that you will immediately counsel Senior Oaks Administrators on resident’ rights and you will insist they correct these violations quickly. I appreciate your prompt attention to Margarita’s personal rights.
Linda Kincaid, MPH