Expect more lawsuits over long-term care

Editorial, The Ottawa Citizen

Today, we report another tragic story of protection gone wrong for a senior in an Ottawa long-term care home. And it appears the death of 91-year-old Doris Lawton is headed to court, after her grandson filed a negligence suit against Carlingview Manor, where she was a resident. Ontario’s long-term care facilities can expect more such legal action until the province finally overhauls its flawed, rationed approach to long-term care. Lawton died Oct. 19 from a blood clot in her lung, having endured hip fractures, surgeries and multiple long hospital stays – all after being moved to a long-term care home that was supposed to provide safety and support for the Alzheimer’s patient. Her grandson, Bradley Sproule, believes the home could have prevented some of her repeated falls by following through on its own care plans for her. But he alleges Carlingview Manor did not, and is suing. According to Sproule’s allegations, which haven’t been tested in court, simple things such as bed rails and battery replacements in bed alarms were neglected. Sproule also says staff tried to prevent him from taking pictures documenting the lack of care. At press time, Carlingview hadn’t responded, but we know such stories are far from isolated. Last fall, a worker at the Garry J. Armstrong home who repeatedly hit Georges Karam, 89, in the face got jail time. In another local case, video captured an 85-year-old disabled woman being taunted by workers who would tell her “Die … you need to die now.” 

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