Elder care couple's license revoked in California

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A Carson City couple found innocent in May of neglecting an elderly resident at Nevada Cares has admitted to the same allegations in California.

Norma and Michael Childers, former owners of Fresno Cares Home for Seniors Inc., signed a stipulation order Thursday with the California Department of Social Services admitting they provided inadequate care to elderly residents at an elderly care facility.

Both Childers agreed to surrender their license to operate in California. They will not be able to apply for another license in that state for 10 years.

The move also shelters them from further litigation by the department, which sought sanctions against them.

Norma Childers said Tuesday she signed the agreement to end an unnecessary legal battle over a facility that she and her husband sold two months ago.

"This is about the very same case we were found innocent of in Nevada," she said. "It's already been sold; that's why we settled."

Among the findings by the Social Services Department to which the Childerses agreed are that they:

- Failed to provide adequate care and supervision to clients and violated clients' personal rights.

- Failed to timely fingerprint or obtain necessary health screenings for staff.

- Failed to report injuries or incidents that may have threatened the health or safety of residents.

- Intentionally failed to disclose information about the operation of the facility.

During the May case, the Childers pair went to trial for suspicion of felony elder abuse against a 78-year-old woman who lived in Nevada Cares, their Carson City facility. That company was also sold.

After a three-hour deliberation, a jury found the them innocent of felony and misdemeanor crimes. During the trial, the two were accused of ignoring signs of decline in 78-year-old Camille Catalfano.

The Childers had operated Nevada Cares for 12 years prior to the charges.

"They wanted to prove that we had a pattern of abuse," she said. "In 12 years we had one complaint."

During the trial, defense attorney Bill Maddox pointed to a history of cancer and blood disease as the causes of Catalfano's decline. Deputy Attorney General Mark Kemberling argued that bed sores and mold in Catalfano's gums were signs that she was not properly attended.

The California Department of Social Services began investigating the Childerses after the Nevada Attorney General's Office unsuccessfully prosecuted the case.

"The first court stuff just kind of soured us," Norma Childers said. "We've already gone through a state hearing and now we have to go through it all again.

"My heart's still there, but I can't go through it again."


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