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Visitors banned from long-term care facilities have little recourse

The Edmonton Journal, Karen Kleiss

Shauna McHarg hasn’t seen her father in nearly two years because she is banned from his floor at the continuing care home where he lives. She is only allowed to visit her mother there one hour each day. She missed their 50th wedding anniversary. Huguette Hebert wanted to see her husband’s diaper change so she could assess his condition, but doctors said no. Whe she refused to leave the room she was banned for a day, and the security guard who escorted her from the building told her that if she continued to cause trouble she could be banned forever and might never see her husband again. James Tucker hid a video camera in his disabled wife’s room and alleges abuse on tape. When he angrily expressed his concerns, he says he was banned from the facility for a month. Albertans who believe they have been unjustly banned from visiting loved ones at care facilities can face years of appeals that end with a toothless recommendation from Alberta’s Ombudsman. Ultimately, only facility managers have the power to let them back in.

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