Quebec seniors' home ordered to act after video shows residents left on floor

Poor staff scheduling at a Quebec seniors' residence is being blamed for an incident in which two elderly people were left unattended on the floor for at least two minutes after falling.

Centre d'hébergement Cooke in Trois-Rivières has until February 2016 to apply changes

A cell phone video shows two elderly residents at a seniors' home in Trois-Rivières lying on the floor next to their beds for more than two minutes without anyone helping them. 0:51

Poor staff scheduling at a Quebec seniors' residence is being blamed for an incident in which two elderly people were left unattended on the floor for at least two minutes after falling.

The incident was captured on cellphone video in July by Johanne Panneton, who was visiting her mother at the Centre d'hébergement Cooke in Trois-Rivières, about 140 kilometres northeast of Montreal. 
Martin Beaumont, the head of the regional health and social services authority in the region, says the residence has six months to adopt the agency's recommendations. (Radio-Canada)

The regional health authority has given the residence 13 recommendations following the publication of the video.

Panneton said it wasn't the first time she had witnessed something troubling at the home.

"I decided to film, because they've said in the past: 'Give us proof and we will try to do something when an incident like this happens,'" she said.

Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette launched the investigation after the video was made public.

The health and social services authority for Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec announced the recommendations on Wednesday at a news conference.

Poor scheduling a major factor

Three factors were identified as causes: The staff on break; closed doors not allowing staff members to hear cries for help; and poor use of technology.

The recommendations include better staff scheduling — three employees were eating dinner when the video was captured — as well as installing privacy curtains for residents rather than closing the doors.

Installing emergency buttons for visitors to push is also one of the main recommendations.

Martin Beaumont, the head of the local health authority, said all of the recommendations will be implemented at the Cooke residence, as well as other seniors' residences on his territory.

"We already have everything we need to make the necessary adjustments and improve our reaction time," Beaumont said.

He said it would be impossible to prevent all falls from happening, but that the agency had a responsibility to improve the quality of life and safety of residents under its jurisdiction.

The residence's administration has until February 2016 to apply the recommendations.


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