'It's a little bit alarming': Eden House near Guelph faced previous privacy concern
The long-term care home where a Personal Support Worker (PSW) was charged with voyeurism this week has faced a previous privacy breach.
A 2019 Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care inspection report shows Eden House Care Facility, near Guelph, was found in non-compliance after a staff member posted a video of a resident on social media. The report notes the incident happened in October 2019.
Elder care advocate Jane Meadus, a staff lawyer with the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly (ACE), calls the incident concerning; and says it’s even more so that a second privacy breach is alleged to have happened less than two years later.
“I think it’s a little bit alarming,” said Meadus. “One wonders what kind of training they’re getting in the facility.”
Kyla Elizabeth Skjonsby, 22, of Cambridge, is charged with voyeurism and distributing voyeurism material. Skjonsby is due in court on Oct. 29.
Eden House confirmed to CTV News, Skjonsby worked at the facility but said she is no longer employed at the home.
In an emailed response to CTV News, Eden House administrator Lisa Holisek said the home takes safety concerns seriously.
“We, among other things: communicate with family members of residents who may be victims of resident abuse and provide them with support; place staff that are respondents in allegations on leave; provide training to our staff; and review appropriate policies,” read the response.
Eden House has had six Critical Incident Inspections by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care since 2016. A Critical Incident Inspection sees inspectors visit a home to inspect on a complaint, critical incident or conduct a follow-up inspection.
But Meadus said it appears with Eden House the system is working.
“With this home it looks like the system was working properly,” said Meadus. “I don’t think this home has any particular red flags about it. When you look at other kind of homes with way more complaints that sometimes run to 100 pages, certainly this one isn’t in that league.”
Long-term care advocate Vivian Stamatopoulos believes there needs to be greater accountability when it comes to privacy abuse.
“Twice in one home within two years is troubling,” said Stamatopoulos. “When are we actually going to go after their employers; the people who are ultimately responsible for them because to this day, no one’s been held responsible?”
In the 2019 incident, the inspection report notes a disciplinary letter related to the incident was included in the home’s documentation for a violation of its policy.
Holisek said that employee no longer works for Eden House.
“As with all investigations related to alleged abuse/neglect, the individual was immediately placed on leave pending outcome of the investigation. Misconduct was substantiated and the employee was terminated,” read the statement from Holisek.
Meadus said the latest incident where a PSW is alleged to have taken intimate images of a resident in August, should serve as a wake-up call for the sector.
“It serves as sort of a bit of warning to operators that, ‘Maybe we should be going back into our home and talking to our staff and making sure that everyone understands the rules as they apply to long-term care and that they shouldn’t be doing these things,’” said Meadus.
A 2009 video of the Eden House Care Facility posted online by the former Waterloo Wellington LHIN describes the home as a third-generation family-run facility that’s been serving the Guelph community for more than 40 years.
On the home’s website, the facility is described as including a 58-bed nursing home and a 20-bed retirement home.