March 21, 2013
Last week, a caregiver charged with serious counts of nursing home abuse had her trial delayed for a second time after her attorneys requested to weigh options regarding a plea deal. The upcoming trial is a result of an incident last year when a elderly woman died in the defendant’s care.
According to the Sacramento Bee, in 2012, an elderly patient residing at the Super Home Care nursing home passed away while under the care of owner, 52-year-old Sylvia Cata. As a result, Cata now faces a felony charge of involuntary manslaughter and a felony nursing home abuse charge of dependent or elder abuse resulting in death.
The victim, 88-year-old Georgia Holzmeister, was suffering from severe bed sores, yet Cata failed to treat her properly, resulting in a rushed hospital visit when Holzmeister lost consciousness. She never regained consciousness, and died five days later.
Cata has had previous run-ins with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). Since 1996, when she opened her nursing home, Cata has received 40 citations after failing to follow several the state’s requirements for running a nursing home.
However, Super Home Care was never shut down or even suspended until Holzmeister’s death, which has left many angry and frustrated with CDSS. According to Foundation Aiding the Elderly’s president Carol Herman, there is no reason why Cata’s home shouldn’t have been closed down years ago.
“That shows an absolute failure of this department. She should have been shut down a long time ago,” Herman said.
Cata is scheduled to appear again court on March 28. She could face up to 12 years in prison. Meanwhile, the victim’s family has the legal right to retain a California nursing home abuse attorney and file civil charges against Cata as well.