Cook and Janitor of Nursing Home Kept Working without Pay Because ‘If We Left, They Wouldn’t Have Nobody’

A California nursing home that shuttered last fall lost most of its staff, leaving its residents behind. News reports say about 16 residents were left at the facility after the nursing home closed, prompting two people — cook Maurice Rowland, and janitor Miguel Alvarez, to stay behind as well. Rowland and Alvarez spent several days without pay providing round-the-clock care for elderly patients, doling out medication, bathing, feeding, and looking after them. They stayed until the local fire department and sheriff took over Valley Springs Manor nursing home. But that wasn’t the end of their story. Their actions eventually led to legislation in California known as the Residential Care for the Elderly Reform Act of 2014, which protects nursing home residents from being abandoned in the case of a shutdown.

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