Reporting Ian Schwartz
SACRAMENTO (AP/CBS13) — The owner of a home for elderly people in Sacramento is facing manslaughter and other felony charges in the death of an 88-year-old resident who died from infected bedsores.
The California Attorney General’s Office says Silvia Cata, 52, who operates the Super Home Care in Sacramento, was arrested Monday and is being held on $300,000 bail.
Spokeswoman Lynda Gledhill said the AG’s office believes the charges against Cata mark the first time the office has pursued a manslaughter case against a caregiver stemming from the death of a senior home care resident.
According to court documents, 88-year-old Georgia Holzmeier died last June from after her neglected bedsores resulted in sepsis, a severe blood bacterial infection.
Her granddaughter Shelly Carson released a statement to CBS13 on Tuesday night.
“Our family has suffered the terrible loss of my grandmother last summer. She did not deserve the death she suffered. We want other people to be aware that the appearance of cleanliness and good care can be superficial. We had no idea the condition of my grandma until we arrived at the emergency room and we were as horrified as the doctors and nurses,” it read.
“We hope that others will learn from the terrible death my grandmother suffered and home care facilities will be better monitored.”
Cheryl Simcox is an elder care advocate who also said care homes need more supervision.
“Most care providers really want to do a good job,” she said. “Unfortunately, there are situations where that’s just not the case. There’s definitely a lot of facilities and there’s not enough oversight for the residents’ best interest.”
CBS13 obtained records of Super Home Care’s past violations, including poor record keeping and housing patients who should have been in a higher-level nursing facility.
Holzmeier’s family told investigators they only saw her on major holidays. Advocates encourage families to visit their loved ones often to keep an eye on the level of care.
“Paying attention to the condition of the home, condition of the residence,” Simcox said. “Are they dressed? Are they clean?”
Cata is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.