CTV News reported that four employees from St. Joseph’s at Fleming long- term care facility in Ontario, Canada have been suspended with pay after video footage showed them abusing a patient. The footage was captured by Camille Parent, who installed a camera in the room of his mother, Hellen MacDonald, an 85 year-old patient at St. Joseph’s suffering from dementia. Parent was prompted to install the camera after his mother suffered a suspicious black eye.
The footage shows a staff member blowing his nose in Mrs. MacDonald’s sheets while making her bed, another staff member changing her diaper with the door open, and yet another shoving a rag covered in fecal matter in Mrs. MacDonald’s face. The incidents all occurred within a period of three weeks.
In 2010, the Long- Term Care Homes Act was passed, enacting a zero tolerance for abuse policy in Ontario extended care facilities. When asked whether or not the footage depicted what he would classify as abuse, Alan Cavell, CEO of St. Joseph’s, told CTV news, “I don’t want to give my opinion directly. I would think that most people would say that it was.” Investigations are under way by both St. Joseph’s and the Ontario Ministry of Health.
CTV News reported that there were over 10,000 incidents of seniors suffering abuse in nursing homes in Canada last year. In light of these disturbing figures, Parent continues to raise awareness about residents’ safety and the quality of care they receive in long-term care facilities through his new organization, Ontario Cares.