Seniors group calls for inquiry into abuse and deaths in long-term care homes

The Canadian Association of Retired Persons, an advocacy group for seniors, is calling for a public inquiry into abuse and deaths of elderly patients in Canada.

Nurse said she killed patients using insulin, knew that long-term care home didn't monitor insulin supplies

(Theo Heimann/Getty Images)

A national advocacy group for seniors is calling for a public inquiry into abuse and deaths of elderly patients in Canada. 

The call comes on the same day as former Woodstock, Ont. nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer, pleaded guilty to killing eight seniors and harming six others while she worked in long-term care homes in three Ontario communities. 

"The murder of these eight elderly residents in their long-term care facility puts a disturbing spotlight on long-term care," said Wanda Morris, the vice president of advocacy for Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP). 

"What is worse is that this case is not an isolated incident. For years, we've heard stories about residents who suffered or die to neglect, abuse and violence in facilities meant to be providing care."

In a videotape confession to police, Wettlaufer said she knew the long-term care home in which she worked didn't monitor insulin supplies. She told court she understood she was going to cause harm by injecting seniors, some with dementia, with insulin that they weren't prescribed. 

The national advocacy group wants a public inquiry into the "abuse, neglect and untimely deaths of long-term care residents in Canada," according to a statement. 

"CARP is very concerned about attitudes and behaviours towards our most vulnerable Canadians in long-term care," Morris said in the statement. "A public inquiry is long-overdue."