Disturbing allegations of senior's care raised by worker
VANCOUVER -- Troubling new allegations are surfacing about conditions for B.C. seniors living in long-term care.
An aide employed by a Vancouver care home says she has witnessed disturbing treatment of residents by staff.
“I go home and I'm upset. I go home and I'm crying. I go home and I’m disturbed,” she said.
CTV News agreed not to identify the woman who is employed by the Louis Brier Home and Hospital, a facility independently recognized for high industry standards.
She alleges she has seen seniors left lying in their own urine and feces.
“I have seen residents that are not toileted all day and then at the end of the shift ... and my shift starts … they're covered in urine. And they're upset and they're angry and they're cold and they're shaking,” she alleges.
“I’ve gone in before and I've seen diarrhea all over bedsheets and coming out of pads,” she claims.
The care home denies seniors there are ever treated poorly.
“Never, never, never, never,” says David Keselman, the CEO at Louis Brier Home and Hospital.
He says the allegations against the home are completely unfounded.
“All of it is fictional and completely unsubstantiated,” he said in an interview.
Keselman also introduced CTV News to a resident who said she has never seen any mistreatment of seniors living there.
The worker says she’s been documenting incidents at Louis Brier on her computer, including how frail seniors with physical disabilities are repositioned in beds.
“The care for this is very aggressive, it's very rough,” she claims.
“They are pushed around and very hard. and even residents will call out and say, 'Ow, this hurts, like please stop … the care aides ... most of the time they just say it's fine, you're fine.”
But Keselman says this is not the case.
“I’m going to be very adamant that it never happens here. I am going to say we have residents whose pain is difficult to manage, whose clinical situation is difficult and complex,” he said.
The care aide also claims residents who are unable to feed themselves, and are at risk of choking, are sometimes fed too quickly.
“What I've seen care aides do is feed them in the same time as if they were feeding someone who can swallow and if they are unable to swallow the food that's in their mouth at the moment they will keep shoving food in their mouth,” she alleges.
“I've seen quite a few residents start choking, I've had to go and help somebody who is choking,” she said.
CTV News asked Keselman if it is possible that this could be happening in residents’ rooms where it might not be seen.
“I’m going to believe in my staff here that they know better. I’m going to believe that it does not happen,” he responded.
The care aide provided CTV News with a document that shows some of the concerns she speaks of have been raised with the home.
Keselman says if any concern is raised about the quality of care, it is addressed right away.
“These allegations are very significant…and I’m going to say not at Louis Brier. Not at Louis Brier. Not under my watch. Not under any of my leadership team’s watch,” he explains.
CTV News contacted Vancouver Coastal Health, which funds beds at the home. VCH says they will be following up with the operators.
In a written statement they add that: “Allegations of abuse at a long term care facility are taken seriously and fully investigated by VCH Community Care Facilities Licensing.”
The care aide puts some of the blame on the pandemic which, at times, has prevented families from visiting loved ones and advocating for them.
She’s adding her voice to the many now calling on the province to launch a full public inquiry into care home conditions.
“When these people, elderly people are telling you that they're scared, they're crying, they're being left in urine, my response to that is, would you like to be like that?” she said.
Meanwhile, the care home says surveys of residents and families have given them very high ratings and that they have received many emails from appreciative family members in recent months.