Manitoba

Province investigating Portage la Prairie seniors home after allegations of neglect

With family members of Lions Prairie Manor residents watching from the public gallery in the Legislature on Thursday, Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen said the results of the Protection of Persons in Care Office investigation are expected within the next 60 days.

Family members allege care plans aren't followed, residents aren't being taken to bathroom

The province has launched an investigations into allegations of poor care at the Lions Prairie Manor seniors residence in Portage la Prairie. (Lighthunter/Shutterstock)

The province has launched an investigations into allegations of poor care at a Portage la Prairie seniors residence.

With family members of Lions Prairie Manor residents watching from the public gallery in the Legislature on Thursday, Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen said the results of the Protection of Persons in Care Office investigation are expected within the next 60 days.

Investigators have spoken to more than 100 people, including staff, residents and family members, and the care home's licence is under review, Goertzen said.

Liberal MLA Jon Gerrard submitted a report written by six family members, detailing allegations of neglectful care, including claims about care plans not followed, staff unaware of significant health challenges, and residents not getting help to go to the bathroom.

Met with families

Gerrard asked Goertzen if he would meet with the family members, which he did for 45 minutes after question period Thursday afternoon.

Dot Sloik is one of the authors of the report who met with Goertzen. Her father, who suffered from dementia and stenosis of the spine, lived at Lions Prairie Manor for four years until he died in February.

During that time, she said the care he received "bordered on negligence."

Her father had only 10 per cent of his hearing left and needed a hearing aid, but Sloik said staff would frequently forget to put it in or change the battery.

"His greatest fear was that he would lose his last 10 per cent and when his battery would go dead, he would get very frightened and very agitated," Sloik said.

"And the staff didn't seem to recognize that his battery was dead, even though every staff member I could speak to, I said, 'If he is agitated, it's either he has to go to the bathroom or his hearing aid is dead.'"

'Lose their dignity'

She also said staff would let him soil himself because cleaning him up afterward was easier than taking him to the bathroom.

"That's very difficult for loved ones to see and deal with, because I think they deserve more respect. They shouldn't have to lose their dignity just because staff doesn't want to be bothered taking them the bathroom."

Sloik said the meeting with the health minister went well and she looks forward to seeing the PPCO report.

"We were very appreciative of him listening to our stories, they weren't pleasant. We felt they were well-received and we felt that he took us seriously," she said.

Even though her father is no longer living, Sloik said she remains an advocate for people living at the home.

"I'm hoping the investigation will be fruitful. It's a very big systemic problem in that facility, the lack of care, and I don't expect it to be solved shortly because it's taken a long time to get to this point of unacceptable practices. But [Goertzen] said he would address it when he got the protection of people in care report."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cameron MacLean

Online Reporter

Cameron MacLean is a journalist living in Winnipeg, where he was born and raised. He has more than a decade of experience covering news in the city and across the province, working in print, radio, television and online.

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