Protect Vulnerable Seniors from Abuse

dementia patient

Target: Jerry Brown, Governor of California

Goal: Applaud Governor Brown’s decision to sign into law 10 bills to improve care at California’s assisted living facilities

Regulation of California’s assisted living facilities has been so dysfunctional that it has literally cost some patients their lives. According to an investigation by ProPublica and PBS Frontline, the quality of life for many patients has been abysmal. Individuals regularly face abuse and neglect, yet the state’s roughly 7,700 facilities providing live-in care for seniors and people with severe disabilities are inspected just once every five years.

California Governor Jerry Brown has been an advocate for reform, helping protect some of his most vulnerable constituents with the recent passage of 10 new bills aimed and cracking down on industry abuses. In the past, reports ProPublica, even cases of fatal neglect resulted in fines of only $150. These meager fines often went uncollected. The lax regulatory atmosphere created an environment ripe for the criminal mistreatment of vulnerable seniors. Staff at one facility videotaped patients with dementia physically fighting with one another after egging them on.

Elders and others unable to care for themselves deserve to live without the constant fear of mistreatment. While much work is still needed to ensure the humane operation of California’s assisted living facilities, Governor Brown has shown he is committed to the cause. Applaud his decision to improve living conditions for his state’s seniors and people with severe disabilities.


Dear Governor Brown,

I am writing to sincerely thank you for your efforts to improve conditions in California’s assisted living facilities. By signing into law 10 bills designed to better regulate the industry, you have shown yourself a true ally in the struggle against elder abuse.

Unfortunately California’s track record in this matter has often been less than stellar. Among the more horrific abuses reported are many unnecessary deaths, and instances of pressure sores left untreated for months until the rotted tissue had gone as deep as the bone. With little to financially or legally discourage such mistreatment, many patients were abandoned to the unthinkable. A 2013 investigation by ProPublica and PBS Frontline found conditions in your state’s facilities had become truly appalling.

Commitments to increase funding and add staff to conduct inspections are encouraging. The new legislation you’ve signed to increase fines and improve training for facility staff will make a real difference in the lives of elderly and disabled Californians. I thank you wholeheartedly for each important reform. Please, continue to promote these and other much-needed improvements in your great state’s assisted living industry.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: geralt via Pixabay

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One Comment

  1. Eventually the abusers become senior citizens too.

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