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Elder Law
In Memory
– Professor Lillian Hyatt –
Ultimate Advocate

CANHR is sad to announce the death of Lillian Hyatt, a CANHR Advocate correspondent for CCRC issues for many years and an AARP Public Policy specialist on CCRC issues.

Professor Hyatt was an articulate and passionate advocate for the rights of Continuing Care Retirement Community residents. In addition to writing columns about CCRCs and resident rights for CANHR and for the newsletter of the National Association of Social Workers-California Chapter, Ms. Hyatt was also the plaintiff in a groundbreaking lawsuit that challenged the discriminatory practices at the Sequoias, the CCRC where she lived.

The Sequoias provided meals for residents in a dining room that on one side had full-service wait staff, a fixed menu, and a dress code, and on the other side a buffet service that allows a more casual option with greater flexibility in food choices. However, because The Sequoias had required walkers be checked with a waiter and stored in a closet during the meal for both sides of the dining area, the buffet side was effectively foreclosed to those with mobility impairments.

Ms. Hyatt, who could select food from the buffet and carry her tray back to her table using her walker without assistance from others, asked to change this policy. After trying to settle the case informally, she received only a small concession allowing her to approach the buffet during a narrow window of time, inconvenient to her, inappropriate to her needs and subject to The Sequoias' scheduling or change of heart, and she sued. Hyatt v. Northern California Presbyterian Homes argued that the Sequoias' policy violates her rights under the FHA, ADA, and counterpart California state laws. She was represented by attorneys with AARP Foundation Litigation and with Disability Rights California. The dispute was settled prior to consideration by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit but changed the discriminatory practices for all CCRC residents.

Lillian, or “Professor Hyatt,” as she was known to all, can be seen on Youtube on the USC School of Social Work Channel at:

Her columns on CCRCs for the CANHR Advocate can be read at:

Goodbye Lillian. All of us at CANHR will miss you.


ELC 2020 Videos Now Available

Sessions on a variety of elder law issues, including an Ask the Experts session with staff from the Department of Health Care Services, 1 hour of ethics on legal and ethical estate planning and litigation issues, plus sessions on Special Needs Trusts and Elder Financial Abuse. These sessions are designed for legal services staff, private bar estate planners and elder abuse litigation attorneys, and professional advocates interested in long-term care and advocacy.


COVID-19 Vaccinations in Long Term Care Facilities

On January 15th CANHR hosted a Zoom town hall for California residents of long term care and their families, friends, and advocates to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in nursing homes and other long term care facilities.

CANHR Fights Illegal Discharge to Reunite Couple
Married 50 Years

When Bill and Beverly Borden entered the skilled nursing facility housed in Tahoe Forest District Hospital in Truckee, they and their family thought the couple of more than fifty years had found a home to spend the rest of their lives together.

In April of 2020, in the midst of the COVID pandemic, the facility dumped Bill Borden in a hospital emergency room and refused to readmit him to return to his wife. The couple and their family were devastated, and they reached out for help to their ombudsman and to CANHR.

CANHR immediately filed a complaint with the California Department of Public Health, and successfully represented the Bordens at a hearing before the Department of Health Care Services. Although the agency ordered that Bill be immediately readmitted, the facility ignored the ruling and the State did not enforce the hearing decision. Capitalizing on the State’s inaction, the facility filed for a civil restraining order to prevent Bill's return. CANHR represented the Bordens in the superior court hearing on that motion, again resulting in a resounding defeat for the facility.

With the facility refusing to readmit Bill and obey the DHCS order, and the State refusing to enforce its own order, CANHR sought the assistance of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), arguing that the CMS should decline to provide Medicare reimbursement to the facility because its refusal to readmit Bill meant the facility was not complying with its contract with the federal regulator. These arguments were successful, and faced with a meaningful penalty for flouting federal law on October 17 the facility finally readmitted Bill, ending the longest separation the couple had experienced in their marriage.

As soon as Bill's short quarantine is over, he and Beverly will again be together, at home.

Residents and their families experiencing unlawful discharges and wrongful refusals to readmit should contact CANHR for advocacy and advice.

click to read more

CANHR's COVID-19 Coronavirus
News & Resources 

In an effort to keep you all better informed, we have created a website, specifically for COVID-19 information, news and resources related to Long Term Care. For the duration of this crisis, we are posting frequent updates there.

Home Equity Protection Program (HEPP)
funded by the State Bar of CA to prevent financial mortgage scams and more... Please read our FREE BOOKLET of Reverse Mortgage information.


Join our campaign to restore reasonable visitation to residents in long term care facilities.
Hollywood Premier Dumps Resident For NOT Having COVID-19


Violation of the Month Archive

New Developments

  • Vaccines Are Reducing COVID Outbreaks in Nursing Homes

    study from the American Health Care Association has found that the COVID-19 vaccines are contributing to lower infection rates and COVID spread in nursing homes.  This study, based on preliminary data gathered shortly after the introduction of the vaccine in nursing homes in late 2020, provides evidence in favor of reopening nursing homes after its residents and staff have been vaccinated.

    Nursing homes residents have largely had no in-person visitation with family and friends since COVID first blew up in the United States in March 2020.  While outbreaks have ebbed and flowed in facilities across the country, the visitation prohibition has persisted, leaving residents suffering from extreme isolation and neglect.

    (posted February 23, 2021)
  • Los Angeles County Inspector General Issues Second Report on Nursing Home Crisis

    On February 16, the Los Angeles County Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued its second report of an ongoing investigation into the crisis in nursing homes. The report and related findings from the Auditor-Controller pick up where the first interim report left off in describing the County Department of Public Health’s dysfunctional nursing home oversight system.

    The new report takes an in-depth look at the evacuation of two Pasadena nursing homes that exposed their residents to life-threatening conditions during the pandemic; describes the concerns of numerous inspectors who complained that the safety of residents who live in nursing homes in L.A. County is compromised by pressures they face to prematurely close investigations and understate serious violations; makes the connection between chronically poor care and profiteering nursing home chains; and identifies systemic management failures that prevent the Department of Public Health’s Health Facility Inspection Division from prioritizing its work and from holding nursing homes accountable.

    The report contains thirteen recommendations, beginning with a recommendation to develop a comprehensive county-wide skilled nursing facility crisis mitigation and response plan. It closes with a statement that “the OIG will further analyze the complex issues involving ownership structures, and make corresponding recommendations, in its final report.”

    click to read more
    (posted February 18, 2021)

  • CANHR Files Lawsuit Against CMS Over Weakened Nursing Home Enforcement
    On January 18, CANHR and the Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care sued the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services over a 2017 policy directive that pushes nursing home enforcers into smaller "per instance" fines instead of "per diem" fines that hold facilities accountable for each day of their wrongdoing.  The directive has been particularly loathsome during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when strong enforcement of our nursing home care standards has never been more important.  Read AARP's press release about the lawsuit here.  CANHR is being represented by AARP Foundation and Constantine Cannon LLP.
    (posted January 19, 2021)
  • Spectrum Institute to Co-Host Free Town Hall on California's Conservatorship System - February 1 at 11:00.
    The Spectrum Institute and some other organizations will be hosting a town hall meeting on February 1 at 11:00 to review the problems in California's conservatorship system and discuss possible reform efforts.
    Download flyer with more information HERE.
    (posted January 19, 2021)
  • New Study Examines COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in California’s Nursing Homes
    On December 1, the California Health Care Foundation released a new report – COVID-19 in California’s Nursing Homes: Factors Associated with Cases and Deaths – that was prepared by a team of researchers from UCSF, Cal Hospital Compare and IBM Watson Health. Early in the pandemic, the study found that low staffing levels and for-profit ownership were major factors triggering outbreaks and deaths in California nursing homes. For-profit nursing homes had COVID-19 case rates five to six times higher than those of nonprofit and government-run nursing homes while facilities with RN staffing greater than 0.8 hours per resident day had 50 percent fewer COVID cases than nursing homes that staffed below that level. As the pandemic spread, demographic factors including age and race were found to be significant risk factors. For example, nursing homes with higher percentages of Latino residents were found to have larger outbreaks than those with smaller populations of Latino residents. The report contains a series of important recommendations on staffing, ownership oversight, health equity promotion, facility size and design, transparency and public reporting of data.

    Read the Los Angeles Times article on the report: As virus again surges in California, race is a defining factor in nursing facilities, research shows
    Read the San Francisco Chronicle article on the report: Coronavirus cases and deaths soared in nursing homes across California. Here’s why
    (posted December 3, 2020)

  • Can Long Term Care Facility Residents Go Home for the Holidays During the Pandemic?
    In addition to the over 90,000 reported deaths due to COVID-19 in the nation’s nursing homes since March, the Associated Press is reporting findings that more than 40,000 additional residents died prematurely due to other causes. Those “excess deaths” were identified through an analysis conducted by Stephen Kaye, a professor at the Institute on Health and Aging at the University of California, San Francisco. The November 18 AP article – Not just COVID: Nursing home neglect deaths surge in shadows – describes a tandem wave of horrific deaths in nursing homes due to extreme neglect and isolation. The analysis found that for every two COVID-19 victims in nursing homes, there is another who died prematurely of other causes.

    California officials have turned a blind eye toward this wave of deadly neglect by suspending regular inspections that evaluate the quality of care in nursing homes. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) gave the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) authority to restore full inspections more than three months ago, yet it still hasn’t done so, opting instead to divert inspectors to narrowly focused infection control surveys that its own inspectors have harshly criticized for ignoring neglect. Alarmingly, CDPH’s actions are helping to cover up neglect rather than to detect and stop it.

    Not surprisingly, the AP’s investigation points to understaffing as a primary cause of the neglect. Here too, the CDPH is aiding negligent nursing home operators and exposing residents to neglect by rubber-stamping hundreds of operators’ requests to waive California’s minimum staffing standards during the pandemic. CDPH has granted such waivers to over 300 skilled nursing facilities, including to some of the worst performing nursing homes in the state.

    click to read more
    (posted December 2, 2020)
  • California Department of Public Health Moving Forward with Divisive Plan to Turn Inspectors into Consultants to Nursing Home Operators
    On November 20, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) wrote CANHR rejecting CANHR’s call to withdraw its misguided plan to turn nursing home inspectors into consultants to nursing homes. After spending the summer touting the benefits of a consultative role for inspectors, CDPH now disingenuously claims that its new survey model will not be consultative. Its actual plan and revised duty statement for inspectors show otherwise. The highly controversial duty statement is the subject of an Unfair Practice Charge filed on August 28 by SEIU Local 1000, the union representing RN inspectors, against CDPH.
    (posted December 2, 2020)
  • Looking for something no longer here? View our "New Developments" archives

Need a Speaker?

If you would like to invite CANHR to a support group meeting, resource fair, or other event in your community, please complete a speaker request form online.
Note: Due to limited number of staff, CANHR may not be able to accommodate all requests outside of the Bay Area and Greater Los Angeles Area.