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Owners, Staff Allegedly Abandon Elderly Patients At Castro Valley Assisted Living Facility

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Police at the scene of Valley Springs Manor in Castro Valley on October 26, 2013. (CBS)

Police at the scene of Valley Springs Manor in Castro Valley on October 26, 2013. (CBS)

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CASTRO VALLEY (CBS SF) — The California Department of Social Services this week moved to revoke the license for a Castro Valley assisted living facility where patients were allegedly left with inadequate care this weekend, a department spokesman said Saturday night.

The department on Monday issued a temporary suspension order on the license of Valley Springs Manor, as well as the licenses for associated facilities in Oakland and in Modesto, that took effect Thursday, according to spokesman Michael Weston.

The facility came to the attention of law enforcement Saturday after responders to a medical call found a skeleton staff struggling to care for around 14 elderly residents, according to Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson.

The patients were moved out to hospitals and other locations and sheriff’s officials launched an investigation that could potentially result in elder abuse charges, Nelson said.

Weston said county social services officials, working in cooperation with his department, had checked on the facility as recently as Saturday morning and understood the patients would be cared for over the weekend while new places were found for them.

“I can tell you that the department has been engaged with this facility for quite a while and there is a history of concerns,” Weston said.

“Apparently what happened is that the facility staff felt that they were starting to lose the capability to care for these individuals, so they called for help,” Weston said of Saturday’s events.

However, other alleged incidents include patients failing to receive necessary medications and suffering diabetic episodes or seizures as a result, and patient falls and injuries that weren’t treated or reported properly.

Some patients were moved from one facility to another without being given a choice and without proper notification of family members, the complaint alleged.

Regulators found alleged fire regulation violations at the Castro Valley facility in March including doors that locked patients inside and obstructed pathways.

At least one client with dementia was insufficiently supervised and had to be returned to the Castro Valley facility by police, the complaint alleged.

By the middle of this month, regulators found insufficient staff at all three facilities to provide basic care for patients.

“There was only one caregiver, one cook, one assistant cook and one housekeeper to care for 24 residents on Sept. 30, 2013,” the complaint alleges.

State officials are seeking to permanently revoke the licenses for all three facilities and to prohibit Hilda Manuel and Mary Manuel from further employment or contact with any facility licensed by the Department of Social Services.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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