'Unresolved issues' behind ban on new residents at Caressant Care
Published Friday, January 27, 2017 6:15PM EST
Provincial officials have taken the unusual step of ordering the Caressant Care long-term care home in Woodstock to stop accepting new residents because of concerns current residents are at risk – but nobody, it seems, is willing to explain why.
Caressant Care has been in the news in recent months because of the October arrest of Elizabeth Wettlaufer.
Wettlaufer is charged with eight counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder over allegations that she killed and tried to kill residents of long-term care homes she was working at.
Seven of the eight murders are alleged to have happened at Caressant Care’s Woodstock facility, where Wettlaufer stopped working in 2014 – which suggests that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s current concerns are not directly tied to Wettlaufer.
There have been other issues with care given at the facility raised publicly.
Jenny Rowe claimed that her mother, Mary Long, was often neglected during her 15-month stay at Caressant Care – including one incident in which she says Long suffered a urinary tract infection, which was ignored for 10 days.
Long has since moved to another home, where Rowe says she is doing “much better.”
“You can only hide for so long, because the true facts become available,” Rowe said Friday.
Ross Gerrie is the president of Unifor Local 636, which represents many workers at the facility.
He says he and his members were “shocked” by the province’s announcement.
“They’re in chaos right now, because they don’t know if they’ve got a job, whether they’re going to be laid off,” he said Friday morning.
According to Gerrie, many managers have left the facility since Wettlaufer’s arrest, which has left other workers feeling pressure.
“They’ve been through an enormous amount of stress over the past three months,” he said.
In a statement issued late Friday afternoon, Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins said that there are “unresolved issues” at Caressant Care relating to incidents that have occurred since last August.
Police have not been asked to investigate any of those incidents for criminal activity, Hoskins said.
Caressant Care also issued its own statement, saying that it has hired an external consultant to help meet ministry standards for its facility in Woodstock.
With reporting by Abigail Bimman