This past week, the Toronto Star reported a front page story alleging that a Mississauga nursing home had failed to meet the basic health requirements of a senior resident. In this particular case, the Star reported that Fariza Trinos, a 30-year-old Toronto resident was appalled to find that her grandmother was suffering from severe untreated bedsores at the Erin Mills Lodge nursing home. The nursing home was not providing the proper care for the bedsores and they were actively trying to hide them when people would go to visit her. This is not an acceptable practice for any type of elderly care and steps must be taken to prevent this type of negligence.
How could a nursing home be so negligent?
It's hard to imagine that a nursing home would have knowledge of a potentially life-threatening illness, and hide it from the resident's friends and family. In this specific case, it is alleged that the nursing home intentionally redressed the bedsore when they knew that the family was coming to visit. The granddaughter only learned how severe the bedsore was when she came unannounced for a visit.
Unfortunately, this isn't the only time that health care violations have occurred in nursing homes. The Star article points out that in 2014 the Ontario Ministry of Health found 229 violations in 213 homes. When these nursing homes fail to deal with life threatening injuries, it's unsettling for anyone seeking care for an elderly relative.
Bedsores, what are they?Bed sores or pressure ulcers occur when soft tissue experiences pressure and/or friction for extended periods of time. The pressure blocks the blood flow and results in injuries to the skin and a sore develops. Bed sores can be prevented and treated when caught early but can be life threatening if they are allowed to develop. That's why the allegations are shocking. Fariza Trinos's grandmother deserved the proper treatment.
How do I know that my grandparents are safe?
The Ministry of Health in Ontario has stepped up their rate of nursing home inspections over the past year, and that's a good step towards preventing these cases. It's still important to use your judgment when looking for care for an older relative.
Before making a decision on any type of care, make sure that the home or agency is credible and is conducting a rigorous and professional evaluation of all of their caregivers. It's important that you meet the caregivers beforehand and make sure that they are the right fit for your relative.
Like in the case of Fariza Trinos, you should consider visiting your relatives frequently and at on varying schedules to make sure that they are receiving the proper care on all shifts and by all caregivers.
There are a lot of great nursing homes and caregiver services providing professional, positive, and health conscious care for seniors. Unfortunately, terrible, preventable cases like the one above occur at the minority of homes that are not living up to proper standards.
If you'd like to learn more about caregiving options and what you can do to make the right decision for your loved ones, please read our other posts below or contact us at Qualicare.
For other posts about choosing the right type of care:
- How to Tell if an Elder is Being Abused
- Five Things you Should Consider Before Hiring a Live-in Caregiver
For more information on the Toronto Star Investigation:
- Nursing Home Bedsore Cases Simply not Acceptable
- Woman Died in Agony After Bedsores Neglected at High-End Oakville Nursing Home
- Step up Scrutiny, Funding for Nursing Homes