Bath tubs in long-term care facilities should have an anti-scald device that shuts off the water into the bath once it reaches 41 degrees, says a judge who oversaw a fatality inquiry into the case of a 90-year-old woman who died after receiving a scalding bath.
One of 30 recommendations, the judge also said government inspectors should conduct regular checks of the water supply systems, tubs, gauges and controls at care homes in the province.
Jennie Nelson, who had Alzheimer's, died in January 2004 after receiving second-degree burns during a bath at the Jubilee Lodge in Edmonton.
Staff noticed redness on her legs when they removed her from the water, and she died a few days later in hospital.
"It's not good enough for him just to recommend that," Nelson's daughter Ethel Robinson said. "Something else has to happen here. And I think I'm going to go down to [Health Minister] Iris Evan's office.
"I don't know whether she'll see us or not, but I think one time she did make the statement that she won't be happy until these places are safe enough to put her own mother in. So I'm hoping she's going to live up to that."
Employees testified at the inquiry into Nelson's death that the temperature gauge on the tub didn't work and that they often tested the water by hand. The day Nelson was burned, the aide who filled the tub thought the woman bathing her would check, while the attendant giving the bath thought the woman filling the tub would do it.
The inquiry has also heard that the water used to fill the tub was likely 10 degrees hotter than guidelines specify.
The Jubilee Lodge replaced the tubs used after Nelson's death and spent about $250,000 upgrading the facility.
The province says it plans to unveil new standards for long-term care centres within the next few weeks.