An Edmonton woman says she was left alone on the floor of her seniors residence for nine hours after her home-care worker failed to show up.

si-marie-chamberland

Marie Chamberland, 87, spent nine hours on the floor after her home-care worker failed to show up (CBC)

Marie Chamberland, 87, who has lung cancer and failing eyesight, lives at Ottewell Seniors Living facility, which is operated by the Greater Edmonton Foundation.

Home-care workers with the private company CBI Home Health give Chamberland medication, take her for meals and give her showers. However, over the Labour Day long weekend, her worker did not show up.

Chamberland's daughter, Yolande Cadrin, sensed her mother was disoriented early in the weekend when she called to check in, and discovered she was not getting her medication. She tried to call CBI but got no answer.

 

'When I saw my Mother on the floor, all soiled, I started to cry.' —Yolande Cadrin, daughter

On Saturday night, Chamberland fell out of bed. Her home-care worker should have showed up for a regular check-in but didn't.

"It's no fun to be on the floor," Chamberland told CBC News.

"I yelled a few times, but they couldn't hear me. But I had my own brains. I knew what I was doing."

Chamberland's worker is employed by CBI Home Health.

Chamberland's friend noticed she was not at breakfast the next morning, so staff called an ambulance.

"When I saw my mother on the floor, all soiled, I started to cry. Because I thought, 'How undignified for this poor lady to have to be in her soiled clothing, all this time?' " Cadrin said.

NDP: Selection of home-care flawed

si-david-eggen

NDP Health Critic David Eggen said the process to pick home-care providers was problematic. (CBC)

The NDP said Chamberland's experience illustrates the province's process of selecting new agencies to provide home-care earlier this year was flawed from the start. In May,  CBC News reported that Alberta Health Services planned to cut the number of home-care service providers in Edmonton from 35 to 10.

Large home-care groups would have replaced several small non-profits. The province claimed the move would save the health system $18 million. AHS later reversed its decision to replace providers at three facilities.

"For this home-care project -- which was huge, it was millions of dollars, many, many different operators -- most of them had no idea what they were bidding on," NDP health critic David Eggen told CBC News Wednesday.

A report posted by AHS showed agencies competing for home-care contracts complained about a lack of transparency in the selection process, but concludes the process was fair.

si-carole-anderson

Carol Anderson with AHS said workers failing to show up is an issue. (CBC)

As for Chamberland's ordeal, AHS spokesperson Carol Anderson said missed visits by home-care providers are an "issue."

"And where it's occurring and where it's repeatedly occurring, steps need to be put in place. And that is part of the work that Alberta Health Services is doing," Anderson said.

A spokesperson at CBI declined to be interviewed by CBC News, but said what happened to Chamberland is being investigated. In an e-mail, Cadrin said she and her mother met with a senior official from CBI Tuesday to resolve the issue.

With files from CBC's Kim Trynacity