Not so golden years: Elderly nursing home residents abandoned by care staff discovered starving, in filth by first responders
- The nursing home had been shut down Thursday by state officials
- More than a dozen patients, some of them amputees and mentally disabled, were left with only a cook and a janitor
- The facility had a history of problems, including residents wandering the streets and inadequate staffing
By Ryan Gorman Daily Mail PUBLISHED: 28 October 2013
Staffers at a California nursing home left more than a dozen elderly patients in the care of a cook and a janitor when they walked off the job this week.
Paramedics streamed into Valley Manor Residential Care Center after a 911 call alerted them to the dire conditions inside – bedridden elderly, amputee and mentally disabled patients in filth and without proper care since Thursday, according to reports.
Staff abandoned their patients after the facility’s license to operate was suspended this week by the state – leaving what officials called a ‘skeleton crew’ to tend to patients.
First responders were called to the home by one of the remaining staff, they told KPIX. They arrived to find 14 patients in horrible shape.
‘We’re talkiing about human beings here,’ an Alameda County Sheriff’s office spokesperson said. ‘How do you just abandon them? It’s heartbreaking.’
It is not clear if any residents were removed prior to paramedics arriving, but the remaining ones were all shuttled out via ambulance, said reports.
Multiple news outlets showed a sign posted on the front door of the condemned home that read ‘NOTICE: CLOSED FOR BUSINESS’ as of Oct 24.
Family members of patients told local media that they were never informed their loved ones were left to starve and wallow in their own filth.
‘”It’s brutal and horrific to know,’ the relative of one patient told NBC Bay Area. ‘It’s not even just her. There were over a dozen people that were left behind that couldn’t fend for themselves.
Even more upsetting, the woman told the station, is that her husband’s mother was lost in the chaos as people were evacuated.
‘I’m actually pretty upset because we have no idea where his mom is,’ she added. ‘The officers are trying to figure out where they relocated her to, so it’s really infuriating.’
Another outraged relative spoke to KGO, saying that ‘they should be held accountable. I mean,. You just can’t vacate and leave your residents.’
‘’This is what you pay for,’ the upset woman added.
As recently as Sept 30, state inspectors found only one caregiver, one cook, one assistant cook and one housekeeper caring for two dozen residents, according to KPIX.
The lean staffing led to several problems, according to neighbors.
‘They’d just be walking around up and down the street,’ one neighbour told the station. ‘Late night time, early morning, come to our door.’
‘It needs to be closed down, probably for good,’ another neighbour added.
An online review on Caring.com, purportedly written by a resident, details the horrors inside.
‘Check the public record for reasons this place has been fined several times for several things. The owner is not permitted on the property. Please keep looking. We have no nurses and the food is not conducive to balanced nutrition or diabetic needs.’
Owner Hilda Manuel was persona non grata as police and paramedics evacuated her remaining patients. Once found, authorities are considering elder abuse charges, according to KPIX.
Authorities are also searching for former employees of the facility as well, it is not clear if they face any charges.
The tortured patients have all been accounted for, according to KGO, and are said to be doing fine
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