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Legislators to address reported lapses in oversight of state’s senior care facilities

ABC 5 Eyewitness News, Minneapolis, MN

Leaders are holding a hearing Wednesday to address reports of dysfunction and a lack of oversight at the office tasked with handling complaints of maltreatment at senior care facilities. The meeting comes after the health commissioner stepped down last month following media reports on serious oversight lapses. At the time, Gov. Mark Dayton said someone wasn’t doing his or her job. Since then, there have been a resignation and a $9 million investment to improve the investigations that weren’t being completed on time or even initiated at all. That will again be the focus for the Senate Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care, which will be joined by the Human Services Finance and Policy Committee. Last year, legislators learned the Office of Health Facility Complaints was investigating just 1 percent of self-reported provider complaints and only 10 percent of maltreatment complaints. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS also revealed data showing most of those investigations weren’t even being completed in a timely manner.

Read the rest here:
http://kstp.com/medical/legislative-leaders-reports-dysfunction-lack-oversight-office-health-facility-complaints-maltreatment-senior-care-facilities/4756551/?cat=1

PSW tells patient to die, family fears province watering down abuse case

Elizabeth Payne, The Ottawa Citizen

Diana Pepin is visibly shaken as she watches the video she has seen numerous times.

In it, a personal support worker is preparing her severely disabled mother for bed in her room at the city-run Peter D. Clark long-term care home. The worker leans in and is heard saying: “Die, die ya bitch, you need to die now.” That is just one of a series of disturbing video clips recorded over about a month last August and September on a camera the family installed. In them, among other things, Pepin’s 85-year-old mother is taunted by a support worker who says in a sing-song voice to “die, die, die,” and asks: “Why it take you so long to die?” Pepin’s mother, who is unable to walk, talk or feed herself, wept when her daughter told her the personal support workers involved in the series of verbal assaults no longer worked for the long-term care home and “they will never be able to do this to you again.” But Pepin and her lawyer Daniel Nassrallah fear the lack of criminal charges in the case and a “watered down” report on the incidents by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care could put other vulnerable residents in institutional care at risk. This newspaper has previously written about the contents of one of the videos, but did not have access to all of them. Pepin, who is a retired nurse, said she was “flabbergasted” when she learned last month that police, who had been investigating the incidents, would not lay criminal charges. In a statement, Ottawa police did not say why charges weren’t laid but said elder abuse charges can fall under property crimes, such as theft and fraud, or personal crimes, such as assault, threats and failing to provide the necessities of life.

Read the rest here:
http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/exclusive-video-psw-tells-patient-to-die-family-fears-province-watering-down-abuse-case

The Ontario government is failing in its responsibility to protect seniors

Randall Denley, The Ottawa Citizen

If government knows of a situation that puts the public at risk, telling people what’s going on seems like an obvious course of action. We are told when our cars are recalled, or when there is bad cold meat in the stores. Restaurant safety inspections are conveniently available online. So why is the Ontario government not giving the public the straight goods about the long-term care homes it deems medium or high risk because of repeated failures to meet its own standards. Protecting vulnerable seniors from substandard long-term care centres would seem like the government’s moral duty. Why is it not meeting its responsibility? Here’s a theory. About 10 per cent of the province’s care homes are considered medium or high risk by the government. That’s more than 60 centres across the province. If the government told us which homes were troubled, people would be unwilling to go there.

Read the rest here:
http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/denley-the-ontario-government-is-failing-in-its-responsibility-to-protect-seniors

Ontario health ministry keeps secret list of high risk long-term care homes

Elizabeth Payne, The Ottawa Citizen

Numerous Ottawa long-term care homes could be on a secret government list of facilities considered “medium risk” or “high risk” but it’s impossible to know how many or which homes, because the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is staying quiet. Ontario rates long-term care homes by risk, with about 90 per cent considered low risk. In the past year, it has revised its system of inspecting long-term care homes to focus greater attention on those it classifies as high or medium risk. A home’s risk level is determined by its record for complying with, or violating, the provincially mandated rules that govern long-term care. Despite pressure from the provincial auditor general to “provide the public with better information for decision-making on long-term care homes,” the ministry has refused to release information about which of Ottawa’s 27 long-term care homes are considered high or medium risk, saying it plans to make more information available online so people can compare the performance of long-term care homes. It has not said when that will be.

Read the rest here:

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/ontario-health-ministry-keeps-secret-list-of-high-risk-long-term-care-homes

Note: In Elizabeth Payne’s article, reference is made to more files from Drake Fenton. The following two published reports by Drake Fenton can help caregivers researching long-term care options determine the risk level of Ottawa’s care homes.

December 19, 2017

At least 17 people have died in Ottawa long-term care homes since 2012

Drake Fenton, The Ottawa Citizen, The Ottawa Sun

At least 17 people have died in Ottawa long-term care homes since 2012, with the care they received before their deaths leading to findings of non-compliance with provincial legislation, an investigation by this newspaper reveals. On Monday, this paper documented how there have been 163 reported cases of abuse and 2,033 instances of non-compliance since 2012 at Ottawa’s 27 long-term care facilities. This newspaper gleaned its data from reviewing thousands of pages of Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care inspection reports. A facility can be found non-compliant for different reasons. Some are minor, such as a failure to offer a resident a snack. Some can be serious, even when no resident is harmed, such as leaving an exit door unlocked. And some are very serious, such as cases involving abuse and death. The following is a breakdown of the 17 deaths uncovered by this newspaper’s examination of ministry documents. 

Read the rest here:

http://ottawasun.com/news/local-news/17-deaths-in-ottawa-long-term-care-homes-led-to-provincial-citations/wcm/c68c9fef-2191-4974-b92b-265f61b42ff8

December 18, 2017

Exclusive: Ottawa nursing homes have seen at least 163 cases of abuse since 2012

Drake Fenton, The Ottawa Citizen

Note: At the end of this report, readers can view a list compiled after The Citizen’s review of Ministry of Health and Long-term Care inspection reports that reveals the number of times Ottawa homes have been found non-compliant with provincial legislation governing long-term care since 2012. The list highlights the total number of incidents of non-compliance for each long-term care facility.

Every one of Ottawa’s 27 long-term care homes, which house some of the city’s most vulnerable residents, has been the site of either violence, sexual abuse or death resulting from improper care, an investigation by this newspaper reveals. Since 2012, there have been at least 163 cases of reported resident abuse — either physical, sexual or verbal — and at least 17 deaths that have led to a home being found non-compliant with provincial legislation governing long-term care.  During that same period, there were a total of 2,033 instances of non-compliance at Ottawa long-term care homes. A facility can be found non-compliant for any of a litany of reasons. Some are relatively minor, such as a failure to offer a resident a snack. Some can be serious, even when no resident is harmed, such as leaving an exit door unlocked. And some are very serious, such as cases involving abuse and death. This newspaper’s data is the result of an examination of more than 8,500 pages of Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care inspection reports. Inspection reports published between 2012 to 2016, along with all available reports from 2017, were reviewed. The data shows a clear, upward trend in non-compliance since 2012. There were 141 instances of non-compliance across the city in 2012 and each year the number has risen, culminating in a 265 per cent increase over a five-year period. There were 516 non-compliance citations in 2016. There have already been 400 citations in 2017, though many reports have yet to be filed. Cases of reported abuse follow a slightly different trend, with the numbers remaining relatively flat before spiking in 2015 and 2016. There were 66 cases in 2016 and only 12 cases in 2012. (There have already been 33 reported cases in 2017.)

Read the rest here:

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/more-than-2000-cases-of-non-compliance-and-163-cases-of-abuse-at-ottawa-long-term-care-homes

Release risk list of long-term care homes: NDP Leader

Elizabeth Payne, The Ottawa Citizen

Saying families have a right to the information, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath demanded Wednesday that the province make its secret list of high-risk long-term care homes public.

“Families with loved ones in care are now being left to wonder if their loved ones, their mom or dad, is in a facility that the ministry itself calls high risk,” she said. Horwath made the demand following a story by this newspaper about the list of high- and medium-risk homes across Ontario, and the province’s refusal to release it, despite ongoing pressure from the auditor general. About 10 per cent of the province’s 630 long-term care homes are considered high or medium risk, according to the auditor general. The province has revised its system of inspecting long-term care homes to focus more attention on them. But, so far, it has refused to make public which homes are on that list.

Read the rest here:

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/release-risk-list-of-long-term-care-homes-ndp-leader

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