Thursday, May 3, 2012

Elder Abuse: Isolation by Public County Guardian in Santa Clara County, CA

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

Torres: no

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

See Also:
Handbook for Conservators


Thelma said...

I don't believe that nursing homes would take such action on their own.

The Public Guardian's office needs to be investigated and individuals engaging in violations of law and rightsa should be prosecuted.

StandUp said...

Torres should be fired!

Diane said...

I just called Carlotta's cell phone number 408-314 2956. She answered the phone. I gave her my name and told her I was from Long Island, NY. I told her that I just read a very disturbing story that said she, Carloota, was denying a woman, Gisela Riordan, from seeing her children and from having any visitors. She said that was "absolutely not true." So I said "then her children can see her any time they want and she can have all of the visitors she wants" and "You are not denying any visitors." And she said "No I am not denying any visitors" ...then she said "Where did you get this number?" And I said "On the internet. I just read a story about this poor woman not being denied visitors and not having any visitors." She then continued to ask me where I got her number and I said on the internet. She then said "I am terminating this call." We all need to take action and call all of these guardians and their offices and flood them with calls and out them to their peers and relatives and neighbors. These people make me sick.

Betty said...

Praying for you Marcus!

Mike said...

Good for you, Diane!

And this is a great article! The spotlight is on the guardian and I'm sure it's going to get ugly before it's over with.

Tyler T said...

Hats off to this reporter for having the guts to stand up and tell the story and to Diane for advocating for a victim from across the country!

Janice said...

guardians or conservators who isolate their wards should be charged with elder abuse.

Anonymous said...

Linda Kincaid is my hero! How dare they restrict this elderly woman from seeing her family. How dare they!

Sue said...

Exposure is key. It's about time we the people say we aren't going to take their *** anymore.

Applause to Linda Kincaid!

Cindy's Mom said...

My mom is in a nursing home in Ohio and the family and a friend who is a nurse spotted blook on my mom's backside. When they looked at what the bleeding was.. It was bedsores. We immediately notified the guardian and the guardian she stated it was scratching by mom to her buttocks area. We notified Ombudsmen and when Ombudsmen wanted to look at the medical records she was told by the guardian that she could not. Immediately we received a letter that we no longer CAN HAVE PRIVATE VISITS WITH OUR MOM... THEY HAVE TO BE SUPERVISED BY THE NURSE'S STATION. I wish our family had a Linda Kincaid..

Nelly D said...

"I am in control of your mother, I am in control of the assets held in the Family Trust, I am in control of where your mother lives and who she sees." After which I replied to Professional Fiduciary, Thomas Lucas; "You have alienated me from my mother but you cannot change her name that is on my birth certificate or change my name to yours, making you her son." This conversation is one of the 3 times my mother's conservator/trustee responded to one of my concerns over a period of 2 years. He has never asked myself or her sisters about who mom is, her likes, dislikes, or even how she wants to leave this world and mom could end up with a Jewish funeral and she is Catholic. Shortly, after mom's court appointed, good for nothing, greedy, independent counsel, filed for fees totaling over $30,000 and discharged herself, Thomas Lucas and a gang of his cronies removed mom from a residential home she has lived at for 5 years without informing the courts nor her only surviving child, myself. Why did he remove her? Lucas stated that the residential home asked mom's physician for a refill of Ativan because mom was not sleeping at night, rather than ask him. I can add one more item to Tom's list of things he controls. And did I mention that this discussion was after I was forced into signing an agreement promising to speak kindly and respectfully to this "out of control professional fiduciary?" The contract of "civility" was initiated after I requested an accounting as the sole beneficiary of the family trust that is putting money into his bank account. I haven't seen one since the end of 2010 so I politely requested an accounting via email of the family trust and when he said no, I quoted the California probate code number and text about providing yearly accounting to the beneficiary of trusts when one settler is deceased and the other is incapacitated. With Public Outcry comes governance, guidelines, and change. Write every newspaper, congressman, Senator, association, you can and don't give up because that is what professional fiduciaries want.

Anonymous said...

I have the same trustee and he's doing the same thing to me, i'm 57 years old and i'm in a special needs trust fund

Nelly D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.