On­tario calls cases of bed­sores un­ac­cept­able

New min­is­ter agrees province must ‘strengthen’ com­pli­ance by homes car­ing for se­niors


On­tario’s new as­so­ciate min­is­ter of long-term care says she is “sad­dened and trou­bled” by pho­to­graphs of gap­ing, in­fected bed­sores pub­lished in a Star in­ves­ti­ga­tion on Wed­nes­day.

“This is sim­ply not ac­cept­able,” Dipika Damerla said in a writ­ten state­ment. “We must do more to en­sure that in­ci­dents such as these do not oc­cur.”

Damerla said she has told the min­istry to look at changes to “strengthen” nurs­ing home com­pli­ance — the in­spec­tions that are sup­posed to pro­tect the el­derly and hold nurs­ing homes to ac­count. Damerla did not say how or when this will be done.

France Géli­nas, New Demo­crat health critic at Queen’s Park, said the bed­sore pic­tures of 88-year-old Fate­meh Ha­ji­moradi and Dorothy Ben­son, 93, are a sober­ing re­minder that there’s no strict over­sight of nurs­ing homes by the min­istry or the On­tario Coro­ner’s Of­fice. “There are usu­ally no reper­cus­sions, there’s no fol­lowup and no in­quests. It’s so dis­re­spect­ful,” Géli­nas said.

In the case of Ha­ji­moradi, who de­vel­oped two se­ri­ous pres­sure ul­cers while in Mis­sis­sauga’s Erin Mills Lodge, the min­istry in­spec­tor in­ter­viewed staff at the home but not her grand­daugh­ter, who filed the com­plaint.

Fariza Tri­nos, a 30-year-old Bay Street sales co-or­di­na­tor, didn’t know the in­spec­tor had dis­counted her com­plaint un­til the Star sent her a copy of its find­ings.

The in­spec­tor didn’t visit the home un­til two months af­ter Ha­ji­moradi per­ma­nently moved into the hos­pi­tal. Tri­nos said the in­spec­tor later told her pho­to­graphs are not con­sid­ered be­cause of the pos­si­bil­ity they could be dig­i­tally ma­nip­u­lated.

“I feel like they just went in and ac­cepted ev­ery­thing the home said,” Tri­nos said. “We didn’t even get a chance to re­spond.”

New own­ers have taken over Erin Mills Lodge, and in an in­ter­view an of­fi­cial at the home cited a low in­ci­dence of bed­sores. mwelsh@thes­tar.ca

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