Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty, through the courts.

July 16, 2011

Disturbing Video: Seniors' Home Sued for Patient Abuse (Montreal CANADA)

'Fall ... I'm fed up with you': elder abuse alleged
 Disturbing video; seniors' home sued for patient abuse
 By CHARLIE FIDELMAN, Gazette Health Reporter
 July 15, 2011

MONTREAL - A woman is suing a Beloeil seniors' home for neglect after capturing disturbing images that she says document inadequate care and abuse of her husband.
The case is the latest of several highlighting nursing home negligence in the Montreal area.
Guy Courville, 68, moved into Centre d'hébergement Champlain des Pommetiers, a private nursing home, in June 2010. He has dementia and Parkinson's disease.
Nursing staff documented 45 falls in six months.
Worried about his numerous bruises, scrapes and cuts, Jacqueline Rioux complained to the head nurse. But when the home failed to respond to that complaint, Rioux hid a camera in his room.
The videos show malfunctioning alarm equipment, Courville tottering on his feet then falling, as well as nursing staff that refused to help the confused patient and then verbally abused him.
In one sequence, two staff members make inappropriate comments. "Fall, fall - go ahead, hurt yourself and you'll end up in the hospital; I'm fed up with you."
In another scene, one aide throws Courville's helmet on the floor - the same helmet that's supposed to protect him during falls.
"Fine then, do it yourself. Stay that way, I'm not looking after you," the woman says.
This week, Rioux and her lawyer, Jean-Pierre Ménard, filed documents in Quebec Superior Court suing the home and two doctors for $91,000.
"This situation is unacceptable and should not reoccur," Ménard said.
The only way to stop this kind of abuse is to put it out there in the media, Ménard added.
The suit alleges Courville was erroneously prescribed two medications for epilepsy - which he took for six months - and that increased his trembling, unsteadiness and risk of falling.
Rioux said her husband never had a medical visit by a doctor during the six months the video was installed.
An alarm rigged to his mattress to signal each time he left his bed malfunctioned. It failed to ring or went off when he sat on the bed.
Rioux said she found it disturbing to see nursing staff blame a patient with dementia for his mental confusion.
Dementia affects mental functions including memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behaviour.
"It's unbelievable. It shows what shouldn't be done," Rioux told The Gazette.
"Those who work there have to understand that the patients are there because they are sick."
Ménard and Rioux are demanding better government regulation of nursing homes and are calling on the provincial physician's board, the Collège de médecins, to draw up clinical guidelines concerning falls and prescriptions to increase physicians' awareness of a vulnerable patient population.
Nursing home director Anne Beauchamp called the video images disturbing and unacceptable, and said the case was likely an isolated incident.
The home got a copy of the video Wednesday, the workers in the incident have been identified and the matter is under investigation, she told The Gazette.

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

SOURCE:    The Montreal Gazette

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