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Joe McLeod, who has Alzheimer's, is accused of assualting a man in a personal care home in Winnipeg. (Courtesy of the McLeod family)

A fight between two seniors in a Winnipeg care home has sent one man to hospital in critical condition and another, known for his struggle with Alzheimer's, facing an assault charge, police said.

The injured man, 87, suffered a head injury when he was knocked to the floor on Thursday, police said in a news release Saturday.

Officers were sent to the Parkview Place personal care home on Edmonton Street about 10:20 p.m. CT where they learned that two residents, aged 70 and 87, were in an activity room when an argument broke out.

"It is alleged that the 70-year-old male physically assaulted the 87-year-old male … causing him to fall backwards, subsequently striking his head on the floor," police said.

Aggravated assault

The man was taken to hospital "in critical condition," police said.

Police said they arrested Joseph Alfred McLeod on Friday and charged him with aggravated assault. He was in custody at the Provincial Remand Centre, pending his first court appearance.

Police said Saturday that they would be in contact with local health officials to determine an appropriate placement for the man.

Last fall, police charged McLeod with assault for hitting his wife, even though his family said he was confused at the time and didn't recognize her.

At the time Manitoba Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard said it was simply unacceptable for anyone with Alzheimer's disease to be kept in jail.

The Liberals have said the case points to the need for provincial and federal governments to put strategies in place to deal with a rapidly aging population and the particular challenges of Alzheimer's and dementia.

The party was also familiar with the alleged incident on Thursday.

No recollection

Manitoba Liberal spokesman David Shorr said Friday the alleged assault took place at night when staffing levels at the care home were low. He said McLeod has no recollection of the events in question.

"He was interviewed by police and he actually thought he worked at the home. His mental state has deteriorated quite a bit," Shorr said.

"His family is expressing their sincere concern for the well-being of the individual who is in hospital as a result of this alleged assault."

A spokeswoman for the Winnipeg Health Region wouldn't specifically name McLeod, but said authorities would not be returning the patient to Parkview Place until an appropriate assessment is done.

Graham said the authority will need to work with justice officials and the police before deciding where to send him in future.

 "This would happen whenever there's a serious incident at any of our facilities — that we would need have to have an assessment done to ensure that not only this client, but all the other clients are in a setting that is safe and secure and getting all of the care that they need," she said.

 

With files from The Canadian Press