Probe: May 25, 2001

May 25, 2001

QUESTION: My dad had a stroke 13 years ago and is paralyzed on his right side. He is in Valley Convalescent Hospital in El Centro because county in-house social services said my mom cannot take care of him. They say he needs 24-hour care.

She signed the papers to admit him to the convalescent hospital only after she was threatened with arrest for neglecting him. He had bed sores. My father had been in bed 13 years, so naturally he had bed sores!

This happened after my father was admitted to El Centro Regional Medical Center. There was a meeting of the El Centro Regional and the IHSS social workers and a police officer.

My father, 80, is so sad and so is my mother, who is 63. They have been married 37 years.

We don't think they are taking good care of him at the convalescent hospital. What can we do? What are our rights? Where can we complain about this? — Concerned Daughter, El Centro


If there is no court order appointing a conservator for your father, your mother can take him home. If he's up to it, he can call a cab and go home.

However, we are troubled by your father's situation. El Centro Regional must have had some serious concerns about your father's condition to call social workers and the police.

Taking care of an elderly, bedridden patient is more than a full-time job. It may be too much for your mother.

A bed sore can be a serious malady. It can develop gangrene overnight and kill the patient.

We talked to Hilda Adame, patient omsbudsman at the county Public Administrator's office. She promised to check on his care at the hospital. Call her at 336-3985.

A TOXIC WASTE — Some more information on fees collected by dealers. There is a fee when you buy a battery. Batteries are also classified as a toxic waste because they contain acid.

When a dealer buys batteries he pays a core charge that is returned to the dealer when he returns the used battery to the supplier. If the customer does not bring in a battery, someone (the customer) is going to have to pay the core charge.

Similar charges have been charged on rebuilt alternators, starters, engines and other parts for years. Core charges for batteries started in the last 10 years. — Dealer, El Centro

Thank you.

SMOKING DOCTOR'S WIFE — I agree smoking can affect the health of employees and patients. I also am sure the doctor's wife was chagrined over having her sin aired publicly.

Are you aware the same woman has for 25 years actively worked against child abuse in this county?

The Children's Fair is the direct result of her efforts and the efforts of the county Child Abuse Prevention Council, now known as the Children and Parents Council.

The council works day in and day out to make things a little better in our corner of the world. — Her Friend, El Centro

Thank you for presenting another side.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles