In March of 2011, members of the Operation Guardians program visited the Desert Knolls Convalescent Hospital in Victorville, California to perform a surprise inspection. The inspectors noted a number of potential health code violations and conditions that may contribute to health and medical treatment complications.
Operation Guardian was launched by the State Department of Justice in the year 2000. Investigation participants perform on-site inspections of nursing home facilities without giving prior notification of their arrival. It was not until recently that these reports had been made available to the public.
Among the numerous unfavorable reports, investigators noted instances of potential maltreatment in which the Desert Knolls “facility’s inaccurate documentation of resident’s wounds may be preventing the resident from receiving the correct wound care treatment.”There were also reports of residents being unable to easily summon assistance, due to their positioning away from staff call buttons.
Additional observation found that Desert Knolls Convalescent Hospital’s Resident Abuse Investigation Policy and Procedures was not in compliance with California State law.
Estimates provided by the American Psychological Association (APA) have found that 2.1 million senior Americans fall victim to psychological, physical, or other forms of neglect and abuse. The APA also reports that elders who have been abused tend to die earlier than those who are not abused.
John Bisnar, California elder abuse attorney, has assisted a number of victims and distributes resources to help raise awareness for seniors who suffer maltreatment. “There are several nursing homes throughout the state of California that fail to provide their guests with adequate care, but rarely do they receive the press that is required to increase efforts to prevent them.”
“Hopefully, Operation Guardian’s reports will create enough awareness to spur our politicians into creating safer environments for our loved ones. Our parents and grandparents deserve to live out the remainder of their lives with more respect than many of these facilities provide.”Says Mr. Bisnar.
Victims of elder abuse are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement officials immediately following instances of maltreatment.