Senior still in hospital after nursing home attack
Won’t return to St. Joseph’s Villa, daughter says
An 85-year-old man severely beaten while asleep in his nursing home bed three weeks ago is still in hospital. James Acker’s family worries his deteriorating health might be permanent.
Acker was beaten at St. Joseph’s Villa on Jan. 28 by a resident with Alzheimer’s who wandered into his room at the Dundas nursing home around 2 a.m.
Acker — who has dementia but was high-functioning, his family says — was taken by ambulance to Hamilton General Hospital with head trauma, bleeding on the brain, and a swollen, wounded and bloody face, including black eyes and a fat lip.
On Thursday, daughter Tammy Carbino said her father has recovered from his bruises, but his handeye co-ordination is now off, and he is now also incontinent.
St. Joseph’s Villa president Derrick Bernardo acknowledged the attack and said shortly after that the Villa’s priority was “to ensure the safety and security of our residents.”
Carbino and her mother Diane Acker say they’ve met twice with Villa administrators to push for assurances that Acker will be safe when he returns from the hospital.
The Governor’s Road nursing home proposed placing Acker on a different floor from his attacker and promised to provide a report on its investigation, Carbino said.
But the next day, the family was told there was no room for Acker on any other floor, she said.
That’s when the family, still awaiting the assault report, informed the Villa that Acker would not be returning.
This week, Bernardo’s office declined to comment, referring all media inquiries to the public relations staff at St. Joseph’s Health System, which owns the Villa.
St. Joseph’s Health System spokesperson Maria Hayes said she was looking into the situation but had not responded to requests for comment by end of day Thursday.
A Ministry of Health and Long Term Care spokesperson was also looking into the ministry’s investigation of the assault but did not get back to The Spectator in time for publication.
Carbino said the ordeal has overwhelmed her mother Diane and exhausted her.
“She feels guilty because he had to go into a home.”
Diane said she’s saddened and no longer trusts the Villa. It was only when the family decided that Acker would not return that “I slept that night, knowing he doesn’t have to go back.”
Carbino said she and her mother have looked at seven other homes so far.
Two of them told the family the type of beating Acker underwent could easily happen there too, she said.
“It’s been pretty scary.”
I slept that night, knowing he doesn’t have to go back. DIANE ACKER JAMES ACKER’S WIFE
James Acker, 85, seen in a photo from last month, has been in hospital three weeks since he was attacked by a fellow resident at St. Joseph’s Villa.