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Patients weren't abandoned at CA care home, attorney says

A sign for the Valley Manor Community Care Home is seen in this undated file photo. (ABC7 viewer Francisco Negrete)
October 29, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The attorney for the owners of an elderly care home in Northern California says patients there were not abandoned.

Paramedics were called to Valley Manor Community Care Home in Castro Valley on Saturday, where 14 patients had to be evacuated to a hospital or other care facilities. A note on the door posted by the state Department of Social Services said the facility was to be closed Oct. 24. Paramedics found that most of the staff had left and only three unpaid staff members - a caregiver, cook and janitor - remained.

Authorities said 911 was called after the three staffers determined they could no longer care for the patients.

Attorney Orrin Grover says the owners of the facility were trying to find homes for the 14 low-income residents but couldn't do it before authorities arrived.

About half of the residents had been moved out by Thursday. California Department of Social Services spokesman Michael Weston said the state had allowed the facility's operators, Herminigilda "Hilda" N. Manuel and Mary Julleah N. Manuel, to keep it open over the weekend despite the closure order so new housing could be found for the rest of the residents.

State officials said numerous violations at the facility spurred the closure. In a license revocation complaint filed by state social services, one patient who was not supposed to be let outside allegedly went missing for two days. The complaint also said the facility failed to hand out medications correctly, to conduct proper employee criminal background checks and to adequately train staff members. The complaint also claims the facility was dirty and in disrepair.

"There had been a long history regarding a lack of compliance and the department reached a point where it began action to revoke the license," Weston said. "The intention of the department is revoke the license and close the facility for good."

Alameda County Adult Protective Services is now working to find new homes for the 14 displaced residents displaced.

KGO-TV and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


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