Yamada, Mariko

Assemblymember Mariko Yamada represents California's 8th Assembly District.

Giving Thanks to Those Who Care

By Assemblymember Mariko Yamada

November is Alzheimer’s Disease and Awareness Month, National Home Care and Hospice Month, and Family Caregiver Month. It also marks the beginning of the traditional season of thanksgiving, taking stock of our blessings, sharing with those less fortunate, and caring for those who are unable to care for themselves. As families come together this holiday season, I urge you to take an opportunity to discuss future long-term health needs with your loved ones.  The increase in our senior population, along with the reduction in community-based care programs, requires greater attention to the services needed for those with terminal illnesses and those, both paid and unpaid, who provide care.  

Nursing Home Nightmares Recur As California Enables More Customers

By Assemblymember Mariko Yamada

Recent front-page Sacramento Bee headlines about tragedies in California nursing homes should be glaring reminders about the reasons California pioneered the Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) alternative to nursing home care forty years ago.   If you are old, or are planning to be – pay attention – because this system is about to vanish.

Facing severe budget pressures, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is currently dismantling the ADHC program in California.  This proven cost-effective program that has worked well to keep Californians out of nursing homes for the past four decades has fallen victim to an annual game of “budget chicken”.

How did this happen?

California’s Adult Day Health Care System: Transition to Nowhere

By Assemblymember Mariko Yamada

Almost forty years ago, California pioneered a system to keep frail elders and persons with disabilities in supportive community day settings. In response to the highly publicized, disturbing stories of nursing home abuse in the ‘70’s, the Adult Day Health Care Center (ADHC) model emerged as a more humane and less costly alternative.

Unshackle Ombudsmen: AB 40 Ensures Law Enforcement Will Know About Crime in Long-Term Care Facilities

By Assemblymember Mariko Yamada

The California State Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes recently exposed “deep flaws in California’s system for detecting and responding to elder abuse and neglect” in long-term care facilities in their report California’s Elder Abuse Investigators: Ombudsmen Shackled by Conflicting Laws and Duties.  The report's findings are verified by hearings I conducted as Chair of the Assembly Aging and Long-term Care Committee last August and in a joint hearing with the Assembly Committee on Public Safety in February.  During these hearings, district attorneys, law enforcement, and the Attorney General's Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud testified that the state has made a “de facto” choice to obscure the extent of criminal abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities by statutorily handcuffing dedicated, unpaid volunteers of the Office of the Long-term Care Ombudsman.

A Renaissance of Non-Violence: From King to Korematsu

By Assemblymember Mariko Yamada

“An individual has not started living fully until they can rise above the narrow confines of individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of humanity….Every person must decide, at some point, whether they will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As Americans, we gather today across the nation to honor the power of peaceful resistance and the courage of civil discourse.  Although our hearts are still heavy from the tragedy unleashed in Tucson on January 8, reflection and calm have begun to replace the chaos that engulfed us just a week ago.