Hidden camera investigation: Nursing home abuse, violence (Marketplace)


Announcer:The following
program…
[ ♪♪ ] David:A special year-long
Marketplace investigation.
Undercover
inside nursing homes.
David:Families search
for the truth.
Woman:My poor mother.David:Has long-term care
reached the crisis point?
Oh! We’re way past that. I think we’ve been
in crisis for years. If this happened
in a daycare, that daycare would be
shut down in five minutes. David:How to
fight for better care
on your Marketplace.One of these men
will soon be dead.
A violent attack inside
a nursing home against
84-year-old Meyer Sadoway.It’s caught on security video.Video the home, Baycrest, kept
hidden from Meyer’s family.
It’s shocking.
It’s a horror movie. David:Diane Miles and Frances
Sadoway are his sisters.
You had a phone call? I got a phone call. David:
And what did they say?
That Meyer
had two falls. David:It would take
months after the attack,
after Meyer’s death,
for his sisters to see
the video and learn the truth.I started
crying hysterically.
And I thought,
I can’t believe it. They said they can
explain everything. -That’s right.
-They’ll explain it. So I said there’s
nothing to explain, it’s very clear what happened
between Meyer and this resident,how Meyer ended up dead.David:What happened to Meyer
is not isolated in Ontario.
It’s why we’re heading
inside nursing homes.
Because violence
is on the rise.
Resident assaults have
doubled in just six years,
from four a day to
now almost nine.
Woman:This is the lounge.David:A shocking increase
and we want to know why
so we’re visiting homes
with some of the highest
reported rates of
abuse and neglect.
David:We arrive in
time to rescue this woman.
I’m going to
give her trouble. David: Her wheelchair
hooked on a flower pot. Hi, guys. David: It’s -18 and
that woman, that resident of a long-term care facility,
is stuck outside. Oh, my God. David:Miranda Ferrier
worked in long-term care
for seven years.We have no idea
how long she was out there before we found her. There’s no excuse for that. David:Now she
runs an association
for 31,000 personal
support workers.
Did you see
how they jumped up? When you guys went in there
and said there’s someone outside who needs help? Oh, oops. David: Oops can
go bad when it’s -18. Oops can go bad very quickly. David:At a different
nursing home
in London, Ontario,
we overhear workers
warn that care is suffering.David:No time
for proper baths.
We don’t have time in the
day to wash them properly. David: How often does that
happen in the long-term– ? Every single day. And no, I’m not kidding. Every single day. Because they
don’t have the time. David:And why don’t
they have the time?
Because there’s not
enough people on the floor, there’s not enough
PSWs on the floor. David:No time to
check on residents.
David:Incredibly, these care
givers aren’t just griping.
They’re complaining to a
visiting government inspector.
David:But the inspector
says she’s powerless.
David:And that is legal
because no province has set
a minimum ratio of care givers
to residents, the way there is
for other vulnerable
populations like daycares.
Which I don’t
think is very fair. These people built the
society we live in today. And now they need
us more than ever. And we’re failing them. We are failing them
in a big, big way. David:Miranda says
understaffing is a clear factor
in rising abuse and neglect.When we’re talking about
putting more care into the system we need to talk
about more scrubs on the floor. How many staff do you have? We need to talk ratios. I truly believe that is
the answer to so many of our problems. David:Problems documented
in thousands of government
inspection reports.A resident dragging another
resident who was screaming.
Residents who punch,
kick, and scratch.
And one who died after
being struck by another
elderly resident.Woman: They have the
three meal services and then the snack carts
in between. David:Back on hidden camera,
we want to hear what homes are
telling families about
staffing on official tours.
In my experience when people
have gone into long term care facilities, and they ask,
“What is the minimum ratio?” they say, “1 to 8.” But that’s not the truth. David:The real story?Not one province
has set a minimum.
-David: There’s no rule.
-No, there’s no rule. -David: No law.
-No law. -David: No requirement.
-Nope. David:But we’re hearing
a different story from some
care home administrators.David:That isn’t true.There is no allotment.No minimums.But we hear it again...and there’s times that we
exceed the minimum requirement. David: So what gives? Well, I mean, what are
they going to say to a family that’s coming in on a tour? Think about that. -They’re there to sell.
-David: Well, don’t lie. Well, but they’re
there to sell. There is no ministry standard. David: Do you think the
current staffing levels in Ontario long-term
care are sufficient? Absolutely not. David:Lawyer and elder
advocate Jane Meadus says
nursing homes aren’t staffed to
deal with the changing profile
of the average resident.We have a much older and
sicker and frailer population, so you’re getting more
people who are acting out and have these behaviours. David: Is there a direct
line for you between the higher number of abuse incidents
and people with dementia? Absolutely, I think that
that’s a huge number of the people that are acting out
and having these behaviours. David:Homes used to
manage aggression with drugs.
Many residents with
dementia were given
powerful anti-psychotics.About a quarter of
all residents are given anti-psychotic drugs, and they
may not all really need them. She couldn’t walk and a
lot of times she couldn’t talk. What we are now doing is
drugging our senior population into submission. David:There was
push back and anti-psychotic
use dropped by a third.Seems like good news.But what happened?We hired statisticians
to dig deep in the data,
and they confirm that as
anti-psychotic drug use went down, abuse in
nursing homes has gone up. Doesn’t necessarily
mean one caused the other, but without extra staff to deal
with the aggressive behaviour,reducing drug use may have
had unintended consequences.
People like Meyer
face that violence.
He tried to block a larger man,
a wanderer with dementia,
from entering his room
and was attacked.
When staff do react,
they lead the aggressor away,
but there’s no one
to help Meyer.
He struggles…and falls, trying to escape.His hip is broken that night.He dies four days
after the attack.
-Meyer must have been afraid.And he was trying to
move himself to get up, and he was having
difficulty getting up and they just walked away. David:It’s been five years
since Diane and Frances
lost their brother.Frances:He enjoyed the fresh
air and seeing other people
and moving around.David: There was no autopsy,
but his family connects
the violence to his
unexpected death.
We were told it’s going to
be specially-trained staff who have special training for
these– for the behaviours of these residents. David:We asked
Baycrest to explain.
They won’t talk about what
happened to Meyer Sadoway,
but do tell us no amount of
care planning or staffing
can prevent all altercations.Miranda Ferrier is
stunned by Meyer’s death.
But not surprised.That kind of thing
is happening more, -a lot more.
-All the time. All the time.
ALL the time. We need more
accountability and oversight. That’s what we need. David:The shocking video.I literally collapsed.I observed my grandfather
being physically punched
in the face 11 times. David: What is your
government doing to try to stop and reduce violence
in long-term care homes? Well, I do believe that we’ve
made important improvements. [ ♪♪ ] David:Crying out for
care on your Marketplace.
[ ♪♪ ] David:The video is shocking.An elderly resident of a
care home being punched
by the very person
meant to look after him.
I literally collapsed. It was the most gut-wrenching
thing I have ever gone through in my entire life.My grandfather was
my hero growing up.
His background is in
law enforcement and so
he was very stern,
he was a disciplinarian.
He was a source of comfort,
stability for our family. David:For five years,
Daniel Nessrallah has
watched George Karam’s
slow slide into dementia.
It is one of the most
difficult decisions and experiences you could
ever undertake as a family. You have a loved one, you want
to provide the comfort and care for them as best as possible. David:But Daniel worried
there was harm instead of care
at Ottawa’s Garry J. Armstrong
long-term care home.
David:What prompted you
to put a camera
in your grandfather’s room?After a series of incidents
where my grandfather suffered numerous cuts, bruises,
and lesions to his head, his arms, his person. David:The camera is
visible to anyone in the room.
If something like that can
happen with a camera in the room that’s known to
staff, what else are we missing in places where there
aren’t cameras? It’s really scary to think. David:Miranda Ferrier
worked as a PSW,
a personal support worker, and
now represents Ontario’s PSWs.
What I always say to
people is imagine being that resident in that bed. You’re confused, you’re elderly,
you don’t know what’s going on. And there’s this person
that’s jerking you around to do your care. Wouldn’t you fight as well? If he’s so combative what
you do is you cover him, you make sure he’s safe,
his dignity is intact, and you leave the room. David:The worker
on the video was fired,
charged and pled
guilty to assault.
Our year-long analysis
shows this wasn’t isolated.
Reported incidents inside
Ontario homes between staff
and residents went from
about 900 in 2011 up to
almost 2200 in 2016.A jump of almost
150 per cent.
And abuse can take many forms.David:On hidden camera,
we hear stories of neglect.
David:This resident has asked
us to hide her identity because
she’s worried staff will
punish her for speaking out.
Daniel:These aren’t
isolated incidents,
it’s systemic,
it’s widespread,
and yes, as the population
continues to age,
as the baby boomers are going
to be entering long-term care
in droves in the next 20 years,
this is the foremost concern for Canadian society right now. David:Daniel is a lawyer
and in the wake of his own
grandfather’s abuse,
he’s become an advocate
for elderly residents in care.This is mom when she
worked at the Chateau Laurier. This is her in the back. She was a–
what was a switchboard operator back then. David:People like
Diana Pepin’s mother.
Diana:Mom is now
turned 86 years old.
Had she not had a head trauma,
she’d be doing 5k a day, power walking. David:She now lives in
another city-run Ottawa home.
Diana:She gave everything
she had, worked so hard,
and should have had a
really nice end to her life.
David:But
a car accident
leaves her with
permanent injuries.
Diana:2014, my father found
it became too difficult.
I never wanted her… Sorry. I never wanted her to
go to long-term care. David:It’s an
emotional decision.
Hi, mommy. Hi. David:Made worse for
Diana, a registered nurse.
Diana:Well, the first thing
that I picked on was
infection control.I see that what I would
consider to be infection control was non-existent. Today’s not a very
comfortable day, is it? David:She tells management
about her concerns and the home
takes action, telling
her she’s not welcome.
I can be in the home
from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. My restriction is
I can’t be in the room when they’re providing
care for my mother. That’s it. Now you’re all straighter.
Okay. David:So Diana
installs security cameras
in her mother’s room.Diana:This is the PSWwho has taken care
of mom for several years.
She’s having an
interaction with my father.
She’s showing how well
she dresses mom, she colour coordinates for her. David: It sounds caring. Very nice. The socks are
matching the nightgown. It sounds good. And you think, this is
a nice relationship. David:But when her
father leaves the room,
so do the nice words.My poor mother. Yeah. David:I don’t imagine
this has been an easy road
by any stretch.Well, it makes
you not trust people. You know what? It just makes you not trust
your own judgement sometimes, when you think that
people are okay. And then you find out
that you could be so duped. David:The PSW
in the video was fired,
along with two bystanders.The city of Ottawa saysit has a zero tolerance
policy for abuse
and has been working
on an improvement plan.
These are people who
really are the most vulnerable. They’re more vulnerable in
many cases than children, because if this
happened in a daycare, that daycare would be
shut down in five minutes. David:In Ontario alone,
homes have reported about
21,000 incidents of
abuse over six years.
We share some
of those cases
with elder advocate
Jane Meadus.
We found a PSW,
a personal support worker, returning to work after
an allegation of abuse without any further training. Another incident of
resident-to-resident sexual abuse. And then finally,
resident-to-resident abuse that took place while
the staff were asleep. Are these isolated or
do you hear about things like that all the time? I hear about these
things all the time. There’s nothing worse
than getting a call from a family member telling
you about how they walked into a room and found their
family member being assaulted. Or discovering that their
mother was sexually assaulted. We have people crying
on the phone every day. David: And these
are incidents under which they’ve caught it. That’s correct. David:And they’re
not always caught.
I would say that
many of them aren’t. David:The man on the
floor died four days later.
What do you say to a family
whose loved ones are facing violence, abuse and neglect? [ ♪♪ ] David:Fighting for better
care on your Marketplace.
[ ♪♪ ] David:We’re inside
Ontario nursing homes,
investigating why abuse
rates are sky rocketing.
When do we say long-term care
has reached a crisis point? Oh.
We’re way past that. I think we’ve been
in crisis for years. And finally people
are starting to see it. David:We take that
message to Ontario’s
Minister of Health
and Long-term Care. -I’m David.
-Hi, David. David: Thanks very
much for doing this. Hi, it’s Eric. David:We tell
Eric Hoskins about
the dramatic rise we found in
resident-on-resident violence.
As the minister responsible,
are you content that we’ve gone from four incidents
a day in long-term care homes up to nine in just six years? Of course not. Of course not. We’re talking about some of
the most vulnerable people in our society. I won’t stop, I won’t rest until
those numbers diminish and go to zero. It’s my responsibility
as Minister. David:So we show
him what happened to
84-year-old Meyer Sadoway.Wow… David:The man on the floor
died four days later.
I’m very sorry to hear that. That’s very–
of course, it’s very painful
to watch. David: What do you say to
a family who has experienced something like that when there
are an increasing number of families whose loved
ones are facing violence, abuse, and neglect? Well, first of all,
I’d say that I’m very sorry to that family. No family should have to
witness or experience that let alone the tragic result. But what I will say is that
I take these incidents very, very seriously. David:Ontario is
promising more direct
care hours in nursing homes.But many front line workers
say without a minimum number
of staff, homes
won’t improve.
This is one of your inspectors
saying we’re fighting for that. One of the people who reports
to you through your ministry is saying we’re
fighting to have a ratio. So we are addressing
the staffing issue, as I mentioned. We’re adding 15 million more
hours across the province, and also we’re doing many
important things with our– David: Even though
some of those PSWs say more hours are great,
but without more staff, it’s kind of meaningless? Well, more hours
translates into more staff. David: There’s
no legal floor, there’s no minimum
number or ratio. But there’s a
legal requirement that that staffing ratio,
that staffing plan has to reflect the nature of
the residents that live there. David: You believe that’s
the solution to all of this? Well, I think it’s
part of the solution. David:As the government
searches for a solution,
how do you ensure you’re
choosing a good home
for an aging loved one?You need to do your
homework before you go in. Speak to people who
have family members there. Do the tour. You need to go in
at the morning, at night and evening. Make sure that they
are getting the care, that it’s not only doing sort of
the normal visiting hours after work. David:And from
those who are there.
What do other people who have
vulnerable family members in long-term care homes
need to be thinking about? Everybody has to
start being an advocate. It’s time to stop being afraid. [ ♪♪ ] Asha: You first saw
him on Dragon’s Den. I developed a technology to
help people’s backs get better. Asha:Promoting a product
that blew them away.
That was unbelievable. You get caught up in
the moment of the deal. Asha:We put his
magic clips to the test.
I’m not really
feeling a whole lot. Some people say you’re
a snake oil salesman. Well, everybody
has an opinion. Asha:On your
next Marketplace.
[ ♪♪ ]

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