Island Heath says investigation “ongoing” into care at New Horizons.
New Horizons in Campbell River is a 94 bed residential care faculty and its website says residents are treated with “dignity and respect” but a former care aide and a caregiver are speaking out about the poor treatment they say residents are receiving.
“I think that the care there is substandard, I would not put my dog in that facility nor any person that I loved” said Angela Wolchuk, a former care aide at New Horizons.
Strong words about a place where people go to spend their final years and staff who family members put their trust in.
However Jenna Hagel who worked in the home for a private client of hers since last May says she noticed problems immediately.
“Anything from skin issues, mouth care being neglected weekly, for weeks, briefs not be changed, urine-soaked sheets, hearing aids no batteries, prescriptions that he needs not filled” Hagel said in an interview with CHEK News.
The list could go on she said and so filled with frustration after getting nowhere making complaints to the site manager she wrote a Facebook post that soon had hundreds of comments supporting her.
She attached photos of more problems, caked-on dried feces on her client’s leg, a catheter bag she says wasn’t changed regularly that could lead to infection, even the man’s clothes strewn about the room.
“I believe they are doing their best but they’re so short staffed” she added.
Not enough nurses and care aides she says resulting in substandard care, an allegation supported by Angela Wolchuk.
“I worked with a nurse one day, came on to shift and she was crying and I asked her why and she said she had just finished her 12 hours, they were making her stay for another 12. She was the only nurse in the building, there were three floors to it, she was having to do meds for all three floors and she was absolutely exhausted and very concerned about giving her meds out because that’s when mistakes happen” said Wolchuk.
And then another allegation involving fecal matter.
“One of the things I saw was a resident was brought to the dinging room table and he had excrement all over his fingers, under his nails. I had to take him from the table take him back to his room and wash him” added Wolchuk.
Island Health says a licensing officer conducted an unannounced inspection two days after Jenna’s Facebook post and that no health and safety concerns were identified, adding that New Horizons does meet the staffing requirements as set out by Island Health.
The owner of New Horizons, Park Place Seniors living in Vancouver denies the allegations.
“I would really like to be on the record to make the comment that I believe the care at New Horizons is quality, it’s safe and it’s very good care” said Lynda Foley, Vice President, Quality Assurance.