New allegations of abuse at Woodstock nursing home
Two sisters claim that their mother, who is now in hospital, was abused at a Woodstock long-term care home.
The sisters told CTV News that they hoped their allegations would be taken more seriously by the home after the investigation into Elizabeth Wettlaufer, who is accused of killing seven of its residents, came to light.
Instead, they say, they haven’t seen any change in the operations at Caressant Care.
Cathy Long and Jenny Rowe say their mother, Mary Long, lived at Caressant Care for 15 months, during which time she was often neglected.
Specifically, they say, they’ve often visited the home only to find their mother slumped over, left in a dirty diaper or soaked in food.
“I’m helping the staff care for my mom, when I’m paying them to care for her,” Rowe said in an interview.
Long and Rowe say they complain about their mother’s treatment “every time” they’re at Caressant Care, and have also lodged a complaint with Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
In one case, they say, a nurse insisted that their mother eat in the facility’s dining room – even though she had suffered broken bones in a fall.
“He (physically) picked her up and put her in the wheelchair,” Rowe said. “Moving the clavicle caused her extensive pain, so he ended up calling me.”
The health ministry ended up faulting the home for not providing Long with food in her room, and for not documenting Rowe’s complaint about the issue.
Cathy Long says she ended up taking her mother all of her meals.
“I had no choice,” she said.
Long’s daughters say another incident saw it take 10 days and multiple requests before Long was given medication for a urinary tract infection.
Last Friday, Rowe was told that her mother had been given medication for the infection.
She was also told that her mother had suffered another fall, but was OK.
The following day, Rowe and Long paid their mother a visit.
“She was screaming so bad,” Rowe said. “I couldn’t take it. I said ‘I’ve got to call 911 – She needs to go to the hospital and be checked out.’”
Rowe and Long say a nurse yelled at Rowe to hang up the phone – then took it out of her hand.
“She just got mad,” Long said. “She didn’t want Jenny to call 911.”
A spokesperson for Oxford County EMS says the call came in to them as a minor trauma, possibly a pelvic fracture. Paramedics responded to Caressant Care within seven minutes, loaded Long into an ambulance and took her to hospital.
Medical professionals found that Mary Long hadn’t broken any bones.
They also kept her in the hospital, due to the seriousness of her infection. She was still there as of Thursday evening.
Officials with Caressant Care declined an interview with CTV News for this story, instead responding by way of an emailed statement.
“We do take the family’s concerns very serious in this instance; however, we reject that the resident involved received anything but caring and professional support and attention,” they said.
Police say they are investigating the allegations, and unable to comment further on the case.
The health ministry says it was also notified, and has assigned an inspector to the case.