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⭒ News & Notes Archive

October 2013

In this Issue

CANHR 17th Annual Elder Law Conference

CANHR hosted the 17th annual Elder Law Conference in Monterey, California, on November 22nd & 23rd at the beautiful Monterey Plaza Hotel with over 300 attorneys and other long term care professionals in attendance. The participants were able to choose from a variety of sessions, including Medi-Cal Updates, Ask the Experts with DHCS eligibility and recovery staff, Special Needs Trusts, the VA Aid and Attendance program, Updates on Elder Abuse Litigation, and an intensive on California’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Special thanks to all the great speakers who donated their time and expertise to make this event possible.

CANHR Celebrates 30 Years of Advocacy

30 years ago, a small group of concerned advocates decided it was time to stand up and fight to restore basic human rights to California’s nursing home residents. Originally called Bay Area Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (BANHR), the organization soon realized that the issues and their mission were greater than the Bay Area and expanded to cover the entire state, changing the organization’s name to California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR). The tireless efforts of a small, dedicated staff began to significantly alter the way long term care facilities provided care for residents in California by:

  • organizing and supporting family councils
  • working hand in hand with legislators to craft new rights and remedies
  • joining forces with government agencies to draft and clarify regulations

CANHR grew to what it is today – the leading force in implementing change in California nursing homes, assisted living facilities and community care retirement communities. In 2014, CANHR will continue to educate consumers on the danger of signing arbitration agreements, educate caregivers on alternatives to dangerous psychotropic drugs and bring to light the substandard care and inadequate government oversight of nursing homes and residential care facilities in California. On behalf of CANHR’s staff and Board of Directors, our warmest wishes to you this holiday season, and we look forward to working with you in 2014!

$2.2 Billion Johnson & Johnson Settlement Sends New Warning: Antipsychotic Drugs Should Not Be Used to Treat Dementia

Behemoth pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson recently agreed to pay $2.2 billion dollars to the federal government to settle claims that it had illegally marketed its drugs, including Risperdal, an antipsychotic medication that has been inappropriately given to elderly people with dementia despite doubling their risk of death. While the settlement is more evidence that illegal marketing will not be tolerated, the damage has already largely been done. CANHR and other long term care consumer advocacy organizations released a formal statement to alert the public about the Johnson & Johnson settlement and address the larger issue of misused antipsychotics in nursing homes.
Click here to read the statement.

State of California Failed to Conduct Timely Investigations of Nursing Home Complaints

On October 29, 2013, the Foundation Aiding The Elderly (FATE) sued the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and two top officials for their “extremely delinquent” responses to complaints against nursing homes. The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, also addresses CDPH’s failure to conduct or resolve complaint appeals in a timely manner and related violations of California law.

Upcoming Events

Webinar Training for Social Workers

Comfort as the New Medicine – Improving Dementia Care and Ending the Misuse of Psychotropic Drugs on People with Dementia
This presentation will discuss the recent news and research on dementia care and the misuse of psychotropic drugs as chemical restraints. Tony Chicotel will address the misuse of psychotropic drugs on people with dementia, why non-pharmacological approaches lead to better quality of life, and how advocates can pursue policy changes that foster a “least medicating” approach to care. Tena Alonzo will explain comfort care, as practiced in her own facility, and how it improves the lives of residents and the job satisfaction of staff members.

Presenters: Tony Chicotel, Staff attorney, CANHR and Tena Alonzo, Director of Research and Dementia Programs at the Beatitudes Campus in Phoenix, Arizona.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Dementia Care Symposium – Sign up Now!

Relationships: Moving Away from Drugs to Comfort-Focused Dementia Care
The symposium is designed to teach non-pharmacologic interventions for the treatment of people with dementia and why such options are superior to psychotropic drugs. Speakers will include, Jonathan Evans, American Medical Directors Association president and Tena Alonzo, co-director of palliative care at the Beatitudes campus in Phoenix, AZ. The Event is sponsored by CANHR, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, Alliance on Aging, Advocacy Inc., and The Alzheimer’s Association. FREE CEUs credit available.

Our Lady of Peace
2800 Mission College Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Thursday, February 6, 2014
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Give to CANHR while you Shop with!

Make every gift count this holiday season by using Good Shop’s easy website which donates a portion of all online purchases to the charity of your choice.

  1. Go to
  2. click “Get Started” and enter “California Advocates” in the search box to designate CANHR as your charity.
  3. Log in with your Facebook account or with your email.
  4. Search for your favorite store and shop away!

You can find coupons for more than 1,600 top stores (including Amazon, Macy’s, J.Crew, Toys R Us, Best Buy, Gap and more) AND a percentage of virtually every sale will be donated to CANHR. In some cases 5 – 20% of your purchase is donated to CANHR. That can really add up! 
There’s no easier way to support CANHR this holiday season! Please spread the word.

From all of us at CANHR to all of you, we wish you a joyous and a peaceful New Year!