State Sen. Ellen Corbett
LEGISLATURE | State Sen. Ellen Corbett says the chain of events leading to 14 elderly patients in Castro Valley being left unattended and alone at an assisted-care facility for two days is unacceptable. When the State Legislature reconvenes in the New Year, Corbett plans to introduce legislation to prevent another bizarre episode like the incident last month in Castro Valley, which may have involved an alleged unscrupulous assisted-living home operator.
“This situation in Castro Valley is a clear reminder that there is an urgent need for increased protections to prevent this tragedy from ever happening again,” said Corbett. “Residents at assisted living facilities are certainly vulnerable and both they and their families deserve the peace of mind of knowing that there are safeguards in place to protect residents if and when another facility closure occurs.”
A multiagency investigation is still combing through the details surrounding the incident at Valley Springs Manor. Last month, reports detailed over a dozen assisted-living patients were left without care for two days following allegations the staff had not been paid. The home was shut down by the State Department of Social Services. However, an untrained skeleton crew of a cook and a janitor stayed behind to help care for the patients. Nobody was harmed by the unsupervised days, but its potential alarmed many.
In a statement, Tuesday evening, Corbett said her bill may include ways for strengthening the state’s facility inspection and complaint process. It could also address how to better protect elderly patients once a facility is closed by a state agency. In the meantime, Corbett says she will meet with stakeholders in the assisted-living field, patients and state representatives to “determine the best legislative course of action to meet the specific and general needs to protect assisted living home residents.”