Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Other recent reports about the abuse of adults with disabilities by their caregivers

Paso Robles, California - KSBY reported on September 25 that a Paso Robles caregiver was arrested and charged with elder abuse for illegally obtaining prescription drugs from adults with developmental disabilities. According to investigators, 57-year-old Larry Ulam was either enticing his clients into making false claims of medical problems in order to get the prescriptions, or he was paying them for the drugs. Mr Ulam is now unemployed, it is reported. An agency that he used to work for is helping detectives with their investigation.

Burlington, Vermont - The Burlington Times reported on September 28 that a 46-year-old woman had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in relation to the assault with injuries of an elderly person with a disability at a home in Burlington on August 5. In addition to being banned from working with elderly people, the woman received a suspended sentence of 75 days in exchange for her plea, and has been put on probation for three years.

Los Angeles, California - On September 18, the Los Angeles Times reported that a lawsuit alleging elder abuse and negligence was filed against the City of Angels Medical Center in relation to the disappearance of 76-year-old Lawrence Garcia, who is developmentally disabled. In the lawsuit, Mr Garcia's family said that Lawrence Garcia, who is described as being unable to care for himself, was visiting his doctor on September 11 and undergoing lab tests at the medical center as part of his treatment for cancer. When the lab work was completed, he was taken by employees to the hospital lobby and left alone to wait for his driver to pick him up. He has been missing ever since. The suit claims that the hospital is negligent for leaving him alone rather than assigning someone to stay with him until his ride arrived. The suit also alleges that in the week following his disappearance, the hospital has not tried to find him. FRIDA hasn't sighted any updates about Mr Garcia's whereabouts or the lawsuit since this September 20 press release by Justice News. Mr Garcia is reported to be 5' 7" tall and 150 pounds. He has grey hair that is thinning, and has trouble walking. He was last seen wearing a grey t-shirt, jeans, and sandles with no socks.