Thursday, February 10, 2011

Family of disabled woman says Canadian nursing home didn't protect against sister's sexual assault

From CBC News in Canada:

The sisters of a woman who lived at a Halifax nursing home says the home's staff failed to protect their sister from a sexual assault.

Susan Rose said her sister, Linda Maurais, lived in the Shannex Arborstone Enhanced Care Nursing Home on Purcells Cove Road and was confined to her wheelchair or her bed because she had multiple sclerosis.

In July 2008, Rose said her sister called to say there was a male resident with dementia who could roam freely on her floor, and he was molesting her.

"She said, 'Please, tell him to leave me alone Suzie, they're not going to let him leave me alone. He keeps coming back into my room.' She couldn't go to sleep," Rose told CBC News on Wednesday.

"She called me to inform me that a man is assaulting her and the nurses didn't want to do anything about it. I called up and they confirmed it to be true."

Rose said she immediately called Halifax Regional Police.

"When I called the nursing station, they said, 'That's unfortunate that that happened but we're watching as best we can. We can't say it won't happen again, can't promise you,' and my sister was terrified."

Maurais lived at the same nursing home where a 92-year-old resident died earlier this week, about a month after an altercation with another resident at the home.

The medical examiner concluded the 92-year-old woman died from injuries sustained in that incident and has declared her death a homicide.

Donna Rose, another sister, said after hearing her sister's complaint, Rose met with an administrator from the Shannex Arborstone Enhanced Care Nursing Home.

"Her reaction was, she was upset that we called the police, she wasn't pleased with us," Rose said. "Her reaction was to me, 'Well, we like to look after this in-house. We take care of these things ourselves.'"

Rose said the man who abused her sister was not moved off her sister's floor until police intervened.

"The thing is, the home didn't handle it. We handled it. How the home handled it was not the way it should've be handled. As soon as this happened he should have been removed that ward," Donna Rose said.

Representatives for the Shannex Arborstone Enhanced Care Nursing Home and Nova Scotia's Department of Health say the assault was reported and handled correctly.