On May 16, 2012, Assemblyman Jim Beall, Jr. contacted Will Lightbourne, Director of California's Department of Social Services. Lightbourne oversees Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD), the agency that licenses residential care facilities for the elderly.
Beall asked Lightbourne the following questions.
•What are the legal timelines to investigate complaints?
•How does the department prioritize complaints?
•Standards used to substantiate complaints.
•What legal authority, aside from a restraining order, do Wildwood Canyon Villa administrators or a conservator have to restrict a family member’s visitation?
Beall’s letter follows nearly two years of complaints against Wildwood Canyon Villa in Yucaipa, CA. Family reported that Wildwood held resident 76-year-old Jean Swope against her will and isolated her from phone calls and visitors for fifteen months. Court records include many allegations of elder abuse and neglect.
Swope’s case falls under Beall’s purview as the Chair of the Human Services Committee. The case was brought to Beall’s attention many times since 2011.
Beall finally acted on Swope’s case after elder advocates brought a second and very similar case to Beall’s attention. Gisela Riordan, 84, is an elder abuse victim at Villa Fontana in Beall’s District 24 in San Jose, CA.
Villa Fontana has denied Gisela nearly all phone calls and visitation for over two years. Gisela has been allowed to see her son, Marcus Riordan, less than two hours in two years. She has been subject to profound neglect, losing a third of her body weight.
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Assemblyman Jim Beall, Jr. Investigates Eder Abuse at Wildwood Canyon Villa