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Photo: Dr. Gloria Harris

By Nadin Abbott

March 11, 2014 (San Diego)--In response to a media report exposing abuse in elder care facilities locally, Supervisors voted to strengthen protections for elderly patients and their families. The unanimous 4-0 vote (with Suerpvisor Ron Roberts absent) approved funds to improve the county’s system for checking up on care in senior care facilities. These standards include the ability of the District Attorney to look at complaints more closely. In addition, the County will create a system for patient’s families to compare ratings of facilities countywide.

Supervisor Jacob said that in many ways these reforms to the Elder Care System  were needed because we need to get ready for the silver tsunami that will come due to our aging population. She emphasized that it is important for the Board of Supervisors to lead.  

Supervisor Gregg Cox said that this likely could be a national model.

Finally the Board also voted to modify policies and come with standards so user of elder care facilities can have more than just superficial industry driven reviews. In other words, they will establish standards that people can check to find good facilities.

The County is also reestablishing the funding to these programs that went away due to the 2008 crisis. They will also be working with the Office of the District Attorney, which already has a program regarding Elder abuse.

Chris Murphy of Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform or CARR for short told the Board that this was needed because right now the public cannot tell “which is a good or a bad facility.”

Dr Gloria Harris addressed the Board by telling Supervisor Jacob that she was “part of that silver tsunami.” She added that the policies should also have a clear Resident Bill of Rights at long-term facilities. Currently there are no posters that identify that Bill of Rights.  

Gloria also said that at 75 years of age, she was “looking forwards to making a huge difference in this area.”


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