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Elder abuse: California assisted living citations online

Community Care Licensing database
Community Care Licensing

Community Care Licensing (CCL), the agency responsible for overseeing California’s assisted living facilities, received intense criticism in past years. Allegations included negligence, incompetence, and corruption.

On February 11, 2014, California’s Human Services Committee held a joint hearing on deficiencies in assisted living facilities and lack of oversight by CCL. Department of Social Services Director Will Lightbourne acknowledged many shortcomings in his department. Elder rights advocates remember Lightbourne for his opposition to a resident’s personal rights in 2012.

A Licensing Program Analyst (LPA) in San Diego County admitted taking bribes from a Ambassador Senior Retreat.

An LPA in San Bernardino County cited Wildwood Canyon Villa for violating a resident’s right to visitation, an offense that constitutes criminal elder abuse. Then the LPA cleared the citation without requiring a correction. Wildwood unlawfully isolated the victim for another year after the citation. The LPA ignored subsequent complaints to CCL.

The San Bernardino County LPA reviewed facility records that substantiated Wildwood Canyon Villa violated a resident’s right to phone calls, another offense that constitutes criminal elder abuse. The LPA stated that she did not issue a citation because her manager had not instructed her to investigate that particular violation.

The same LPA reported in early 2010 that Wildwood Canyon Villa placed some residents’ mattresses directly on the floor, which is a violation of licensing regulations. The LPA did not cite the violation until late 2011, after CCL received a number of complaints about the ongoing violation.

Until recently, the only way to obtain information on facilities with numerous violatations was to go in person to the local CCL office and review the paper files. In some cases, CCL offices required the public to make appointments up to a week in advance.

An outcome of the February 2014 hearing is a searchable online database of facility citations. Searching on Wildwood Canyon Villa returns a list of complaints filed against the facility since 2010.

Click on the Complaints tab to see dates of facility visits in response to complaints.

01/21/2014, 01/21/2014, 08/01/2013, 07/31/2013, 07/31/2013, 07/31/2013, 03/20/2013, 03/04/2013, 12/17/2012, 12/06/2012, 12/06/2012, 12/06/2012, 12/06/2012, 12/06/2012, 12/05/2012, 10/08/2012, 10/08/2012, 10/08/2012, 10/08/2012, 08/22/2012, 08/22/2012, 08/22/2012, 06/22/2012, 06/15/2012, 06/15/2012, 06/15/2012, 05/08/2012, 05/08/2012, 05/08/2012, 05/08/2012, 04/10/2012, 04/02/2012, 04/02/2012, 03/22/2012, 02/27/2012, 02/27/2012, 11/08/2011, 09/22/2011, 08/26/2011, 02/18/2011, 02/03/2011, 09/27/2010, 07/13/2010, 07/09/2010

The Complaints tab also gives a list of citations and type of citation.

Complaint Allegations:

- # Substantiated:

13

- # Inconclusive:

10

- # Unfounded:

34

Type A Citation:

8

Type B Citation:

5

What is a Type A Citation?

It is for the most serious type of violations in which there is an immediate risk to the health, safety or personal rights of those in care. Examples may include lack of care or supervision, access to open bodies of water, lack of a fire clearance for the building and access to dangerous chemicals.

What is a Type B Citation?

A Type B citation is for a violation that, if not corrected, may become an immediate risk to the health, safety or personal rights of clients. Examples include faulty medical record keeping and lack of adequate staff training.

At present, concerned members of the public are still required to visit the CCL office in person and review the paper file for information on the specific violations. CCL plans to provide more information on line at some future date.