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Elder abuse: Monterey County Public Guardian seeks order for chemical restraint

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new-logo25  DCF 1.0Senior Issues Examiner

Linda Kincaid

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“The Public Guardian responded to Margarita’s comments by terminating visitation with her daughter.  The Public Guardian sought and obtained a court order to strip Margarita of her right to meet with elder rights advocates. The Public Guardian has denied Margarita all visitation since November 15, 2013.”

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The Monterey County Public Guardian is seeking authority to forcibly administer antipsychotic (psychotropic) medications to conservatee and elder abuse victim Margarita Zelada.  The FDA has repeatedly warned against administration of psychotropic medications to elderly patients.

California’s Department of Aging posted the following comments about use of antipsychotic drugs on elderly patients.

Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 72018 defines a CHEMICAL RESTRAINT as: “a drug used to control behavior and used in a manner not required to treat the patient’s medical symptoms.” All residents have a right to be free from the use of chemical restraints. (42 CFR §483.13(a); 22 CCR §72527(a)(23); 22 CCR §72319), yet, the use of antipsychotic drugs on those with dementia is common practice and often used as an alternative to the needed care of these individuals.

California’s Notice of Conservatee’s Rights states the conservatee has the right to:

Make his or her own medical decisions

California’s Handbook for Conservators states on page 284:

Psychotropic drugs

Prescription medicines used to alter cognition, mood, or behavior. These medicines are sometimes used to treat persons with dementia. You need specific prior court authority based on a strong showing to authorize the use of these drugs in the treatment of the conservatee.

Violation of Margarita’s rights is nothing new for the Monterey County Public Guardian.  A request for chemical restraint is the latest in a series of violations of rights and denial of due process. More

Margarita Zelada on the Monterey County Public Guardian

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Published on Nov 10, 2013 

Monterey County Deputy Public Guardian Jennifer Empasis alleged that Patricia Conklin financially abused her mother, Margarita Zelada.  Margarita clearly stated that Patricia did not abuse her in any way.  No financial abuse charges were filed.  However, the Public Guardian refused to terminate the conservatorship of Margarita’s estate.

The public guardian entered Margarita Zelada’s home with police officers who had their guns drawn, to forcibly and involuntarily remove Margarita from her home.

The estate is valued at about $1.5M  The Public Guardian keeps Margarita confined and isolated at Senior Paradise in Del Rey Oaks, California.  Margarita has been allowed to see Patricia only twice since March 2013.

(editor’s Note:  What is the estate worth now that the public guardian has had total control and access to the estate assets?)

California passed AB 937 to clarify that conservatees retain the right to have visitors, phone calls, and personal mail.  Isolation and false imprisonment constitute criminal elder abuse under Penal Code 368.

Silicon Valley tax dollars fund elder abuse: Part II

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Linda Kincaid

Elder Advocate, California

Part I: READ HERE

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Part II –

Public Guardian imprisons & isolates Gisela Riordan

Linda Kincaid

In 2010, Santa Clara County Public Guardian Donald Moody petitioned for conservatorship of Gisela Riordan.  Based on false allegations by Court Reporter Herlinda Acevedo, Judge Thomas Cain approved the petition.  With the stroke of a pen, Moody had complete control over Gisela’s life.

Moody immediately seized Gisela’s bank accounts.  He evicted her son and sold their home the following year.   Gisela languishes in isolation.  For two and a half years, Moody has denied Gisela’s right to visitation, phone calls, and mail.  Consistent with his wholesale violation of civil rights, Moody denied Gisela’s right to vote in 2012.

Moody imprisoned and isolated Gisela at Villa Fontana, a secured residential care facility that will violate the law in exchange for payment.  Villa Fontana blatantly violates personal rights of residents.  They refuse to discuss those violations with elder advocates.

April 27 – 30, 2012:  Jennifer Lan & Violation of Resident’s Personal Rights

This reporter temporarily established contact with Gisela by arriving at Villa Fontana on a Friday evening, shortly after a visit by Deputy Public Guardian Rebecca Pisano-Torres.  The Villa Fontana night staff assumed I was with the Public Guardian’s office, and they allowed me to enter.

When I first approached Gisela, she was bewildered that anyone would come to see her.  She was horribly lonely and sobbed for over an hour, clutching my arm and begging me not to forget her.  She demanded I promise that I would visit her again.  Sadly, the Public Guardian has prevented my keeping that promise.

On Monday, Villa Fontana staff recognized me as an elder advocate.  Employee Jennifer Lan, accompanied by four male staffers, entered Gisela’s room and ordered me to leave.  I guided Lan to a poster of the residents’ rights  located in the facility lobby.  More

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