The heroes of Valley Manor - Miguel Alvarez and Maurice Rowland [PODCAST]
"My parents, when they were younger, they left me abandoned...and knowing how [the residents] were going to feel, I didn't want them to go through that..."
~Miguel Alvarez, former employee at Valley Manor Community Care Home
This is a bittersweet story, but Miguel and Maurice exemplify the best in humanity. When Valley Manor was shut down in October 2013 for repeated violations of California State Code, the State and former Valley Manor owner failed to immediately coordinate the transition of care for 19 senior residents. With the staff no longer receiving pay, most left. The residents were all but abandoned for over two days, except that Maurice and Miguel continued to support them unpaid. They fed, bathed and passed out medication for residents.
Eventually the police removed the residents, but if it weren't for the heroics of Miguel and Maurice, many of these residents would have been in very real danger.
Since that time, and in response to the Valley Manor incident, new legislation has come to the floor of the California legislature, namely the Residential Care for the Elderly (RCFE) Reform Act of 2014. Much of the legislation involves imposing higher civil penalties, revoking licenses, and requiring greater liability insurance on nursing owners to prevent negligence...still, more proactive legislation is needed to identify negligent owners earlier and prevent another Valley Manor debacle from happening.