LETHBRIDGE: ***UP-DATE Country 95 has spoken with a representative from Covenant health regarding a
disturbing incident at St. Therese Villa in Lethbridge.
The group "Friends of Medicare" claims that on September 1st, a dementia and
disabled resident of the St. Therese Villa Designated Assisted Living facility,
(a Covenant Health facility in Lethbridge), was discovered by a staff member
with mice nibbling at her face.
The Vice-President of Operations for Covenant Health's Rural Services says the
Health Information Act prevents her from disclosing any patient information.
However, Sheli Murphy says their first concern is for the health of the patient,
who is receiving treatment and for the patient's family, who are being kept
informed of the actions and procedures in this case. Murphy noted, "We have
called in someone from pest control to ensure that we can't do anything more
than we've already done, so certainly we use those resources, as well as working
closely with Alberta Health Services and our infection practice control has
worked with theirs and we have been in contact with Public Health".
Murphy also explained, "We have multiple traps both inside and outside the
building - outside the building near entrances. We also ensure that there's
proper sealing of the building - doors and windows - and other places where a
mouse could get in".
St. Theresa Villa, is a 200-bed facility with five dementia units. Residents
bring in their own beds and other household items into the facility, which has
been of concern to Friends of Medicare.Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of the
group states there are safety issues when transferring or lifting residents from
their beds, which are normally not medical beds.
According to Azocar, "Staff at this facility have been expressing concerns
regarding mice for the past year, and this is the same facility that has had
ongoing bed bug issues for over nine months. We have been advised that
Management has now set more 'traps in the facility', contacted the family of the
affected resident, however it is still unclear if Protection for People in Care
have been contacted regarding this particular case".
In a news release, Azocar goes on the relate other concerns that relate to
staffing issues for the facility, which houses residents who require total care,
as well as palliative care patients, "Staff shortages have been an ongoing
concern in this facility and during night shifts they have only one Care Aide
available for 12 residents on each of the five dementia units. One Care Aide to
care for approximately 34-38 residents in each floor and only two LPN's for the
Chair of the Lethbridge Chapter of Friends of Medicare Shannon Phillips says
"what we have to ask is who's responsible and at the end of the day care for
seniors and others requiring long term assisted living care lies with the
provincial government, so if we have a system where the inspections, the
licensing, the enforcement, all of that, is letting this kind of stuff fall
through the cracks, the responsibility lies with the provincial government."
Phillips adds there needs to be full review and investigation under the
Protection of Persons in Care act.