The story begins in 1980. Matilda Anticevich, 77,
ill and requiring 24-hour care, was admitted to a highly regarded and expensive nursing home in California. By the time Matilda was transferred to a hospital for emergency surgery 18 months later,
relatives who visited daily had filed numerous complaints with the nursing home staff for repeated failures to receive prescribed medication, bones broken under suspicious circumstances, mental and physical abuse,
and suppurating bedsores that had now reached life-threatening proportions. Matilda did not survive the surgery. Weakened by malnutrition, her cause of death was cited as pneumonia, coronary arteriosclerosis and "most
After a three-year uphill battle with apathetic officials, files that mysteriously disappeared, three closures of the case with no action, and a pattern of stonewalling by state agencies
created to protect patients from abuse and poor care,
two things happened: The district administrator of the agency that licenses and monitors nursing homes was fired and Carole Herman
, Matilda's niece, who fought the system for three years, founded FATE, the Foundation Aiding The Elderly.
Carole Herman became an advocate. In a tradition as old as America she protected the weak, fought
the powerful, demanded government do its job, doctor's fulfill the Hippocratic Oath and the public care. Over the past
32 years she has accomplished all of these, yet the work goes on.
State and local government agencies and commissions, the owners of offending nursing homes and the nursing home doctor are terrified of her.
She has had her life threatened, been removed from a local aging commission,
been threatened with legal action, and had more nursing home administrators and government officials attempt to intimidate her than she can remember.
The first 20 years she has worked a minimum of 40 hours a week
helping patients and their families at no salary has never
actively solicited funds and has donated thousands of dollars of
her own money in the cause hardly anyone else would take on when
she began, with the exception of pioneers like Mary Adelaide
Mendelson author of "Tender Loving Greed” who became a mentor of
FATE has helped families all over the country.
Hundreds of complaints have been filed with regulatory
agencies responsible for overseeing medical practice and
procedures in nursing homes. Civil actions have been filed
on behalf of patients and their families. And the movement
to illuminate and reverse these all-too-common incidents of
neglect, abuse and criminal assault, ranging from hair
pulling to outright beatings, is growing.
Carole Herman and FATE fulfill a vital and increasing need, as we all live longer lives with an increased possibility of needing long term care, of providing direct action advocacy and
education that will ensure that care is received with the dignity all of us deserve.
In October 2001 Carole Herman was a Volunteer Spirit Award winner receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work
with FATE on behalf of the elderly.
Presented by the Volunteer Center of the Sacramento region this
was a wonderful honor and recognition of her first 20 years of
dedicated volunteer work Carole has provided to the community in
honor of her aunt Matilda.
As the Sacramento Bee said in noting the volunteer awards "Their energy and generosity
demand our admiration. Their contribution to the well-being of our community earns our thanks and respect."
In February 2002 Carole was presented with a Resolution from the Sacramento County Board of
Supervisors for "her dedication and care for the elderly of our community."
Today, as the need for FATE's services and Carole Herman's dedication to serving the elderly deepens, we are
reaching out to those within the community who we have been honored to be of service to and asking for your support and your prayers as we continue to aid the elderly.