Recent Activities






of San Francisco
San Francisco Gray Panthers
Position on Laguna Honda Hospital

San Francisco Gray Panthers have discussed our future long-term care needs for the elderly and disabled. Currently, they are almost one third of the City's population: almost 18% are over 60 years old, and almost 13% are disabled people under 60 years old. By 2020, the City's over-65 population will have increased by 65,000 over two decades, a 57% increase. The over 85 population will have increased 50%. 6% of the age 18-64 population, and 23% of the over-65 population are expected to have mobility or self-care limitations.

In spite of these growing needs, there has been a decrease in vital services that senior and disabled people depend on: housing, transportation, nutrition, neighborhood services, and long-term-care. In the midst of this developing crisis, the City has further marginalized long-term-care by its actions toward Laguna Honda Hospital, the City's 1200 bed nursing home.

First, the City endangered patients and Staff with its budget-driven Flow Project, which admitted able-bodied mentally ill San Francisco General Hospital patients whose State funding had run out. A number of assaults and a fire resulted. The Flow Project has been largely reversed, for now, by widespread protest and citations from State licensing and workplace safety agencies.

More recently, the City has seriously considered abandoning its central mission of nursing home care for elderly and disabled people, with various plans for downsizing, substitution of alternative care for nursing home beds, and opening up Laguna Honda for mentally ill and homeless clients, whose needs have increased since the City has cut back their services also.

San Francisco Gray Panthers' position on long-term-care and Laguna Honda Hospital is:

* San Francisco's senior population will rapidly increase over the next twenty years, yet affordable facilities have decreased.

* Elderly, frail, and disabled people must unite to demand more funding and more beds for ALL levels of long term care for everyone who will need it.

* We deserve long term care in home or community settings where possible, appropriate, and patients genuinely want it. The City MUST fund and build this alternative long term care.

* Nevertheless, a certain percentage of older and disabled people need nursing home care, and based on expected demographic changes, we will need more, not fewer, nursing home beds like Laguna Honda Hospital. Therefore:

* Laguna Honda Hospital MUST be rebuilt at its current 1200 beds,

* Laguna Honda Hospital MUST be for the elderly, frail, and disabled.

* No inappropriate or dangerous patients at Laguna Honda Hospital, ever.

* Restore the Mental Health Rehab Facility. Mentally ill patients deserve treatment, and they belong there.

* The City's plan to reduce LHH beds is based on wishful thinking, an untested plan, and unshared data, and is budget-driven, not client-driven.

* To fight over inadequate resources, or encourage the City to take from one population to give to another is suicidal.