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Families of residents who may have been abused in nursing homes in Winnipeg are disgusted by allegations

Written by Javed Iqbal

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details about allegations of abuse.

Families of people living in a privately owned personal care home in Winnipeg would like to know why two helpers were allowed to work for several months after allegations were made that they had abused 15 residents.

A woman whose 92-year-old mother lives on Oakview Place, which is owned by Extendicare, was told hours before the allegation became public that her mother was possibly one of the residents whistleblowers say was abused.

“They have not told us exactly what is going on … We are in the dark,” said the daughter, whom CBC News has agreed not to mention. “We do not know if it is verbal, we do not know if it is physical, we do not know if it is sexual.”

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said at a news conference Tuesday that it is investigating allegations of abuse by two nursing assistants at the nursing home in Winnipeg’s Sturgeon Heights neighborhood. The province and police are also investigating.

The nursing assistants have currently paid leave.

The allegations were first brought to the local Extendicare management by a whistleblower in February. However, the WRHA was not informed until it was contacted directly by another whistleblower on June 10, a press release said.

The daughter of the 92-year-old resident accuses Extendicare of covering up the abuse charges.

“I’m disgusted, I’m sorry, I’m sorry on my mother’s behalf. We trust this company.”

SE | Allegations of abuse prompt police to investigate two aides:

At least 15 residents of Extendicare Oakview Place were victims of alleged abuse, the WRHA said.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority says allegations that two helpers had abused 15 residents of a privately owned personal nursing home in Winnipeg came to light thanks to two whistleblowers, but that the authority only became aware of the allegations four months after the facility was notified. .

Sandra Goers, the company’s newly appointed Manitoba Regional Director and Director of Operational Quality for Western Canada, said at Tuesday’s press conference that the company offered its apologies to residents, staff and family members and had taken a number of steps to ensure everyone’s safety.

Another woman, who CBC News has agreed not to name, received a call Monday night from someone from the personal nursing home informing her that her father, who died earlier this year, may also have been abused.

“It tears me to pieces that he had to go through it in his last days of life, and we did not know that,” she said.

The woman said her father started changing about a year ago and would become aggressive when he was changed. He would shout, “Do not touch me there, do not touch me there.”

The family thought the staff might not change his underwear as often as they should, but now she wonders if he could have been sexually abused because he complained of back pain.

A blue sign reads "Oakview Place Extendicare" is shown on the site of a brick nursing home building.
Two employees of Extendicare’s Oakview Places personal care home on Ness Avenue in Winnipeg are under investigation. (Erin Brohman / CBC)

She was not told what kind of abuse her father was subjected to, but is haunted by the thought that his last days were marred in that way.

She is outraged that even though a whistleblower showed up in February, the accused caregivers continued to work at home until June.

“The fact that they kept those people in the staff, I’m so mad about.”

The daughter of the 92-year-old woman who still lives in the home said she is grateful to whistleblowers for trying to protect the elderly.

“These employees who came forward, they were brave enough to say something, and as a family member, we are grateful that they did,” she said.

“Some of these residents can’t speak for themselves. They have dementia or Alzheimer’s or mobility problems.”

Neither the Extendicare nor the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said when the alleged abuse started because the Winnipeg Police Service has requested that certain details remain private while police investigate.

spokesman const. Jay Murray confirmed that Winnipeg police are investigating allegations of abuse at the nursing home, but say no further information is available during the active investigation.

Underfunded, understaffed sector: trade union

Manitoba Nurses Union President Darlene Jackson says staff are overloaded at personal care homes throughout the province, including Oakview Place.

She says years ago that her union recommended to the province that funds and staff be made available to ensure that people in personal care homes receive at least 4.1 hours of care a day.

At present in Manitoba, the standard is 3.6 hours of care per day, but Jackson says it is sometimes not met, and some residents receive as little as three hours of care per day.

“We know … [4.1 hours is] a sweet place. We know this is where the residents feel best, where they tend to thrive, ”she said.

“And it [recommendation] was published in 2017. Absolutely no one has listened to that message. “

She said the dangers of lack of care were demonstrated by the COVID-19 outbreak at Maple’s Long Term Care Home, which started on 20 October 2020 and was declared closed on 12 January 2021.

A total of 56 deaths were associated with the outbreak, including eight that occurred over a 48-hour period, resulting in the deployment of a rapid response team.

“It makes me very sad that we have this story of losses in long-term care and mismanagement and underfunding in long-term care, and we have learned nothing from that story,” Jackson said.

Earlier this year, the province pledged $ 15 million to address the recommendations of an external review of the Maples outbreak. It also announced $ 16 million to address staff shortages in personal care homes.

Health Minister Audrey Gordon rejected CBC’s request for an interview on Wednesday.

The 92-year-old’s family wants answers after being told she was abused

The daughter of one of the residents of Oakview Place’s personal care home says she is disgusted by what she has learned about the allegations of abuse against two health care workers there.

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Javed Iqbal

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