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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

April, 2006

 


Updating For Sarah Nome
By Karen Nakamura

It has been awhile since this paper checked in on Sarah Nome. Sarah, a former columnist with the Coastal Post, reached national attention when, for over a year, she refused to move out of Kaiser Hospital in San Rafael. Kaiser claimed Sarah had run up a million dollar bill and wanted payment. They also wanted Sarah to apply for Medicare so the hospital could recover some of its expenses. Sarah claimed she was fully covered by her long-standing Kaiser membership and refused to apply for Medicare. Eventually, after nearly a year of wrangling, a judge ordered her removed from Kaiser and appointed a conservator for Sarah's affairs.
So on March 29 of last year Sarah was moved from Kaiser in Terra Linda to the Lafayette Convalescent Home in Lafayette. She doesn't know anyone there and is removed from her daughter, who, though she visits every week, lives in San Francisco. She also misses her friends from Marin who used to visit her at Kaiser. Needless to say, Sarah feels trapped. Unable to stand, she has been bedridden since falling in her kitchen approximately three years ago.

At that time, Sarah's upper thighs were found riddled with holes, which caused both knees to break. Kaiser recommended amputation. Understandably wanting a second opinion, Stanford concluded she could be operated on successfully. Sarah was eventually operated on at UC Parnassus Hospital in San Francisco and returned to Kaiser in Terra Linda. At that point, the Kaiser staff tried to place Sarah in a convalescent home in Marin. However, and accusations have been bounced back and forth about who's responsible, no Marin accommodations were found.

Sarah's family has openly wondered if the transfer to distant Lafayette was in retaliation for her dispute with Kaiser. One of the first things Sarah's daughter noticed was the health code violations posted in the facility in Lafayette. According to the daughter's investigation, the convalescent home has been found to have structural violations and cited for over 100 pages of violations. The state's Office of Health Planning now runs the convalescent home.

When asked about moving Sarah home, Sands said the house itself has had the roof fixed and is okay. However, she suspects neighbors have been abusing the home and said the cellar looks like a herd of pigs had been living there. But more troubling is a situation where a real estate agent in the South Bay is claiming to own the house even though Sarah and her daughter say they have not had any business with him. There have been recent complains of real estate investors conning the elderly out of their property. The Coastal Post will be looking into this further.

If you'd like to cheer Sarah up, her address is Sarah Nome, Lafayette Convalescent Home, 1010 First Street, room #17, Lafayette, CA., 94549.

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