Island Health suspends license of complex-care senior’s home in Nanaimo

Island Health suspends license of complex-care senior's home in Nanaimo

Island Health has made the very unusual move of suspending the license of a senior’s home in Nanaimo.

It happened at a privately-run home, located on Labieux Road, that’s been operating since 1992.

It’s called Dwelling Place and it’s a private complex-care facility that at one time was licensed for 14 residents.

Neighbours say the home has been quiet the past few days.

“Today there are no cars. Normally there are half a dozen cars there,” said Gerry Dixon, a neighbour.

Island Health suspended the home’s license Wednesday citing numerous ongoing infractions of the Community Care and Assisted Living Act.

The remaining seven residents were moved by the senior’s home to other facilities following the suspension.

“A real surprise. Absolutely. It’s the last thing I thought,” said Dixon who said it always seemed like a great senior’s home when he visited a friend who formerly lived there.

Island Health says the contraventions involve staff records, staff evaluations, care planning, medication delivery and storage. The health authority also says not all staff were immunized for COVID-19 or Tuberculosis as required and as a result, there was an immediate risk to the health and safety of the residents.

“We were horrified that it had been closed because it was such a refuge for my mother,” said Randall Smith, the son of a former resident.

Randall and Roya Smith were surprised by the suspension as Randall’s mother had great experiences here for four years before her passing.

“I was absolutely mortified. I couldn’t believe that such a nice place has closed down,” said Roya Smith.

Around the time of their Mom’s passing, however, Island Health started documenting infractions that continued until the suspension this past week.

BC’s Seniors Advocate says Island Health has a transparent online web page that notes infractions and is a good resource for researching homes for a loved one.

“Ideally, you wouldn’t see a license suspended and residents relocated, but it gives some reassurance that we do have a system in place to catch it when it does happen. It’s rare but it does happen,” said Isobel Mackenzie.

Island Health says Dwelling Place has an option to seek reconsideration by the Medical Health Officer or to appeal the decision to the Community Care and Assisted Living Appeal Board.

Since this story aired the operators have contacted CHEK News. They say they feel they’ve been unfairly targeted. For example, Island Health wrote up an infraction for not having proper references filed for an employee. Ching Blas-Muego says that the employee had been working at the facility since it opened in 1992.

Blas-Muego says they’re now planning on repurposing the facility in a yet-to-be-determined way.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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