New Brunswick

Transfer to Campobello nursing home tears couple apart

A Saint John woman is objecting to her husband being moved from a nursing home in the city to one in Campobello Island.

Kelly Lester thinks her husband is being transferred from Loch Lomond because she is vigilant

A Saint John woman is objecting to her husband being moved from a nursing home in the city to one on Campobello Island.

Kelly Lester says the change is going to have a serious impact on how often she'll be able to visit her husband of 36 years.

Kelly Lester has neither the car nor the passport needed to get from Saint John to Campobello Island. (CBC)
Lester says her husband Donald is being evicted from the Loch Lomond Nursing Home under Section 17(1) of the Nursing Homes Act. That allows an operator to evict a resident if he's considered a danger to other residents or staff.

"He is a dementia and Alzheimer's patient," said Lester. "He doesn't talk anymore. If you talk to him, he will talk to you. But it may be just off the wall."

Lester believes her husband is being evicted because she has been too critical of his care at Loch Lomond. She takes photographs and keeps notes and questions staff about his treatment several times a week.

"They will not let him stay. And it's because family speaks up," said Lester.

The Campobello Nursing Home is a 2 1/2 -hour journey by car from Saint John -- that goes through the United States. The trip requires a passport. Lester has neither a car nor a passport.

It takes about 2 1/2 hours and a trip through Maine to get from Saint John to Campobello Island.
"Financially, it's going to put a big strain on me because now we have to purchase passports for everybody," she said. "I don't have a car so I'm going to have to hire somebody to take me down to visit."

The Campobello home has 30 beds and administrator Sherry Johnston says it's probably the only one in New Brunswick with a vacancy.

Lester currently visits her husband daily, but says she'll be lucky to see him once a week after his transfer.

"It's really going to put a lot of strain on everybody, not being able to see him," she said. "Because we are a very close family. We always have been."

The Department of Social Development says all nursing homes in the province provide the same quality and level of care.

Private operators of nursing homes must develop procedures for working out issues, together with families, over many months before taking action, says the department.

Officials will not comment on individual cases like Lester's due to privacy legislation.


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