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Staff at California seniors’ home abandons sick residents

The Daily Buzz
Berlin Senior Citizens' Week

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BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 30: An elderly woman pushes a walker along a path in the gardens of the Sewanstrasse senior care home in Lichtenberg district on August 30, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. The center is participating in Senior Citizens' Week (Berliner Seniorenwoche), a city initiative meant to highlight activities available for the city's eldery. Germany is facing significant demographic change that includes elderly citizens making up an increasing portion of the overall population, a situation aggravated by the country's birth rate, which is the lowest in Europe. The shift will continue to put greater strain on the country's ability to finance its public health and senior care programs. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

A California seniors' home abandoned 14 patients, some of them bedridden, when it shut down last week and all but a few concerned staff members cleared out, according to the county sheriff's department.

The San Fransisco Chronicle reported the state's department of social services ordered the Valley Manor Residential Care centre in Castro Valley, Calif. to close by Oct. 24. The centre closed on Thursday as directed, leaving a note on the door that said "NOTICE: CLOSED FOR BUSINESS," according to NBC News.

But some of the patients didn't receive the memo, or the help they needed to leave. The Chronicle reported that staff walked out, leaving several frail senior citizens — some of whom had deteriorated mental conditions — without supervision.

[ Related: Seniors-home killings spur calls for national dementia strategy ]

The patients stayed at the facility with help from a janitor, a cook and one caretaker, according to reports, until Saturday when paramedics received an emergency call and moved the seniors to new accommodations.

Police are investigating the incident at the facility, which appears to have had problems long before it was shut down. A spokesperson at the state social services department said there was "a history of concerns," according to the Associated Press.

This summer in Calgary, Alta. devastating floods caused power outages at three assisted living buildings downtown, and the elderly residents spent two days in darkness waiting for help, according to Sun News. Those who used wheelchairs and walkers were trapped without working elevators.

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