The Public Guardian’s office has isolated Gisela Riordan from family for over two years, according to her son Marcus Riordan. The Public Guardian petitioned for conservatorship and placed Gisela at Villa Fontana, a residential care facility willing to violate her personal rights.
On September 28, 2010, Judge Thomas Cain ordered the Public Guardian to, “organize … visits between the conservatee and her adult children.”
Deputy Public Guardian Rebecca Pizano-Torres instructed Villa Fontana to restrict Gisela from all visits and phone calls. In two years, Gisela has seen Marcus three times. Marcus and Gisela pleaded for visitation.
Marcus: Tomorrow mom wants me c her u OK with that
In 2007, Santa Clara County paid Pizano-Torres $74, 537.71, according to Bay Area News Group.
The California Handbook for Conservators instructs:
California law requires you to choose the “least restrictive, appropriate” home available that is in the conservatee’s best interests and meets his or her needs.
Arrange a network of visitors.
* ...arrange for congregation members or clergy to visit
* Encourage family and friends to write letters and cards.
* Arrange for a telephone with a private line.
* Arrange parties for the conservatee.
The Handbook explains that conservatees do not lose their right to visitation. When a person becomes a conservatee, he or she does not lose the right to visit with friends or family.… Do not isolate the conservatee by keeping friends or family away.
On April 29, Pizano-Torres insisted she had the right to deny visitation.
Torres: Actually, it’s my choice.
Kincaid: Are you sure about that?
Torres: It is. I’m positive.
On April 30, the Long-term Care Ombudsman initiated an investigation into the Public Guardian and Villa Fontana violating Gisela’s right to visitation. Olivia Garcia, Santa Clara County Ombudsman, said she would speak to the Public Guardian. Later in the day, Pisano-Torres was removed from Gisela’s case.
On May 1, Community Care Licensing initiated an investigation into Villa Fontana violating Gisela’s right to visitation. Regulations require a Licensing Program Analyst visit the facility within ten calendar days.
Full Article and Source:
Elder Abuse: Isolation by Public County Guardian in Santa Clara County, CA
Handbook for Conservators