Edmonton

Seniors' advocate calls for cameras in care homes after disturbing hidden footage revealed

In the wake of the release of two shocking hidden camera videos shot in a long-term care home in Edmonton, some are pushing for cameras to be installed in all residents’ rooms.

Staff at Kipnes Centre for Veterans covered camera or turned it away after learning of its presence

Carol Wodak said installing cameras in residents' rooms at care facilities could prevent some of the complaints she often hears. (CBC)

Shocking video shot by a hidden camera in a long-term care home has triggered a call for cameras to be installed in all residents' rooms. 

On Monday, CBC News showed footage showing a male patient pulling 89-year-old Eileen Adamson out of her bed at the Kipnes Centre for Veterans in Edmonton, a subsidiary of Alberta Health Services run by CapitalCare.

The incident was captured by a hidden camera set up in Adamson’s room last summer by her daughter Susan Carter.

After reviewing more footage, she found a second incident where she says staff were rough-handling her mother as they moved her using a hoist. One careworker grabs the senior’s arm and shakes it and speaks aggressively to her.

Carter showed the video to staff at the home, triggering two separate investigations into the incidents.

Staff  were told about the video camera last week. Since then, some workers worked in the dark and turned the camera away from them when they were in Adamson’s room.

Carter left a note for staff asking them not to touch the camera, which prompted workers to cover it with a blanket.

Alberta Health Minister Stephen Mandel called the hidden video footage captured by Susan Carter 'very distressing.' However, he said installing cameras in residents' rooms could raise privacy concerns. (CBC)
Carter complained after the camera was covered by staff several times. Staff were then told to leave the camera alone.

Seniors advocate Carol Wodak with the Seniors Action Liaison Team is calling for homes like Kipnes to install cameras throughout their facilities. She said it shouldn’t be up to families to monitor their loved ones’ care.

“I don't think there should be a problem overseeing their work,” Wodak said, adding that access to the video recording would have to be limited.

She said installing cameras could help prevent the types of serious complaints she often hears about.

“I think cameras are the answer, as long as these abuses and kinds of neglect that lead to people dying still exist.”

Wodak says some U.S. states have also introduced cameras in care homes but Alberta Health Minister Stephen Mandel said the proposal raises some privacy concerns.

“I think then you lose the privacy of the people. I'm not sure how legal that would be,” he said on Tuesday.

However, Wodak said the safety of seniors in care should be the top priority.

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