Sacramento Elderly Care Home Under Fire From State Regulators

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SACRAMENTO —

The State Department of Social Services says it’s trying to revoke the license of a residential care facility that has allowed Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers to leave the elderly care home.

The Sacramento County Sheriffs Department is still looking for 70-year-old Charles Jones, who disappeared on Tuesday morning from the Sky Park Gardens skilled nursing facility.  An administrator told Fox40 that Jones broke through a fence.  But a DSS spokesperson says staff members are required to keep track of all Alzheimer’s and dementia residents.

Fox40 News has learned that the license revocation action resulted from several other walk-away incidents including one in December of 2012 when 86-year-old Ralph Madrigal walked out of the front of the gated facility.  He was found four hours later nearly two miles away gravely injured.  He may have fallen or been struck by a vehicle.  He died several days later.  DSS investigators found that exit alarms were ignored by staff, which were not properly trained.

“When this happened I was shocked and it devastated me,” said Raffael Madrigal, Ralph Madrigal’s son.

He said he had other problems with Sky Park as well, including what he suspected was verbal and physical abuse.

“That license should have been pulled a long time ago and I don’t understand why it wasn’t,” said Raffael Madrigal.

Operator Joe Johnson says the facility went overboard to make corrections and doesn’t feel his license should be revoked.  The Jones incident occurred while the long revocation process was still underway.

Meanwhile, Assembly member Ian Calderon of Whittier has authored a bill that requires residential care facilities for the elderly and children be subject to surprise inspections every year instead of every five years.

“We’re not supposed to be reactive, we’re supposed to be proactive and find out the problems before hand to avoid these major issues,” said Calderon.

Madrigal says no one should go through what he and his dad did at Sky Park Gardens including Jones’ family.

“I hope they find him because it’s an awful situation to go through…it’ll affect my life for the rest of my life,” said Madrigal.

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