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HomeNewsFamily Wants Change After 86-Year-Old Woman Reportedly Assaulted By Another Resident At...

Family Wants Change After 86-Year-Old Woman Reportedly Assaulted By Another Resident At Fenelon Falls Nursing Home

KAWARTHA LAKES-86-year-old June Smith screamed for help, but no one was there to hear her according to her family.

Smith is a recent resident of Fenelon Court Long Term Care Home in Fenelon Falls. It is a for-profit home with 67 licensed beds.  On February 16th at approximately 3:15 pm her family says she was asleep in her room when another resident entered and attacked her.

“She could have died, the guy could have killed her.” her son Steve Smith told Kawartha 411 News. “When this gentleman went into her room and was attacking her and she was screaming there was no one to hear her. Two Personal Support Workers on her floor were in a washroom using a lift to bathe another resident and the only nurse on shift left her station leaving no one in the vicinity who could hear her screaming.”

Smith says the resident entered his mother’s room and began urinating on the floor at the end of her bed. She awoke and yelled at him to leave her room.

“We aren’t really sure whether he grabbed ahold of her or what but on her left arm the skin was torn right off her arm, right down to the flesh.” Steve says.

Courtesy Smith Family

Her other arm also had the skin torn off, she had a black eye and bruising of her chest and her neck according to Steve. “She was terrified. She keeps asking why did this guy do this to me” he says.

When staff heard her screams and came to help she was already badly injured.

Steve says there were a number of failures that day. Cameras in the hallway captured the man entering and exiting a room more than once but they were unable to see the room number. No one at the nursing station at the time of the attack, staffing concerns and a lack of a locked wing for dementia patients were all contributing factors according to Steve.

“There’s supposed to be somebody available at all times, she is supposed to be under care 24/7. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble because the nurse is very nice but at the same time, she should not have left her station. She should have waited until the PSW’S were done bathing the other resident.”

He also blames the home and says they need more staff.

“The poor girls are run ragged, some of the residents have dementia and some are in wheelchairs. One staff for eight people is not enough.”

We reached out to officials at Fenelon Court who wouldn’t speak to the specifics of the case citing privacy concerns but said they take safety seriously.

“Our first responsibility to all those who live and work in our homes is safety, and we take this extremely seriously.” an Extendicare spokesperson told Kawartha 411 News. “In situations where a conflict may arise between residents, team members are responsible for following policies to ensure each resident is supported. They investigate issues, work to guide resolution, closely monitor for any change in health status and adjust care delivery in response. Where it may be helpful to ensure resident comfort, we may apply additional staffing, including one-to-one care support, as a further measure. Our team members are also trained to manage responsive behaviours exhibited by residents who live with complex care needs.”

The home has since brought in a security guard who sits outside of June’s room although Steve says on two occasions no guard has shown up.

Police were called and told the family there was nothing they could do as the suspect had dementia.

The Ministry of Long-Term Care was notified and said it immediately initiated an inspection.

“The Ministry of Long-Term Care conducts an immediate inspection if information indicating serious harm or a significant risk of serious harm to a resident is received. An inspection was initiated upon being made aware of the incident at Fenelon Court. Once completed, the inspection report will be available on our public reporting site.” said Mark Nesbitt, Spokesperson. “If non-compliance is identified, an inspector may take further action to bring the licensee into compliance. If further action is required, the inspector may refer the matter to the Director for additional action.”

No inspection report has yet been posted on the public reporting site.

We asked about ministry requirements for locked wings for dementia patients and minimum staffing levels but were told those are left up to the owners of the facility.

The Smith family has met with staff at Fenelon Court and says they offered an apology.

“They need to make changes. I don’t want this to ever happen again to my mother or anybody else.” said Steve.

“We will continue to operate with an open-door policy, to maintain direct communication with residents and their families to offer support.” said Extendicare. “We encourage residents and families to reach out to us if they have any questions or concerns about their loved ones’ care so that we have an opportunity to address them.”


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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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