search
top

Son’s hidden camera records care-home staff abusing mother

David Andreatta, The Globe and Mail

An 85-year-old woman stricken with dementia depended on the staff at an Ontario long-term care facility to look after her. Instead, as a hidden video camera showed, a staff member appeared to taunt Hellen MacDonald with a rage smeared with her own feces. Another blew his nose on her clean bed sheets. And male and female co-workers canoodled at her bedside. On another occasion, the camera caught an elderly male resident walking into Ms. MacDonald’s room, opening her bedside drawer and helping himself to some of her belongings… A page on the home’s website reads: “At St. Joseph’s at Fleming, we believe that care and compassion are essential in fostering sanctity of life. That’s why our primary concern is to create a home for our residents where they can be given the best possible care in an environment of personal worth and dignity.” According to ministry records available online, the home had been inspected by the province 11 times in the past 28 months. The results of the 12th inspection has yet to be posted according to ministry officials. Six of the inspections were generated by reports of “critical incidents” including residents found wandering outside the home at night. Four of the inspections were prompted by complaints, including one resident attacking another. Health Minister Deb Matthews issued a statement:“We have a zero tolerance for abuse in long-term care homes. Our loved ones are entitled to nothing less than the best care. While I can’t comment further on this case, I can assure you my ministry officials are investigating.”

top