Elmore Kittower, 80, died in November 2007 after he was tortured and physically abused by employees at Silverado Senior Living, a Calabasas nursing home, according to this 10/6/08 MSNBC News report. Los Angeles County Sheriff Department detectives have arrested four people, including 20-year-old Cesar Ulloa, who police believe was the leader of a group that routinely abused helpless nursing home residents.
Kittower’s family made the tough decision to place him at Silverado Senior Living after a blood clot in his brain left him unable to live at home. Sheriff’s officials opened up an investigation after they received several anonymous letters and phone calls about the circumstances of Kittower’s death. They exhumed Elmore Kittower’s body and determined that he had suffered “a repeated pattern of physical abuse.”
My heart goes out to the family of Elmore Kittower. I can only imagine the trauma and heartbreak they must have endured after learning of the pain and suffering that Elmore had to endure, which eventually led to his death.
Nursing home officials simply issued a statement expressing “deep regret” for the family. They said they immediately fired the four employees and spent $500,000 to re-train the nursing home staff. According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report in 2002, nursing home abuse has resulted in serious injuries and deaths at several facilities across the nation. The report also revealed that facilities were late in reporting abuse incidents 50 percent of the time.
It is unacceptable that a facility that houses vulnerable seniors would not do a thorough background and criminal check of all of its employees. I trust Elmore Kittower’s family is consulting with an experienced Southern California nursing home abuse lawyer. Nursing homes and elder care facilities are obligated to deliver a high degree of care and protection for their residents. Taking these negligent nursing homes to court is the best way to stop them from neglecting and abusing their patients.