Lawsuit filed against South shore long-term care centre
The family of a patient in a long term care facility on the South Shore is accusing the institution of negligence, and they have hidden camera footage to back up their claim.
Jacqueline Rioux has hired Jean-Pierre Menard to file a $91,000 civil lawsuit against the Champlain des Pommetiers long-term care facility (CHSLD) in Beloeil.
Rioux's husband, known as Mr. GC, moved into the facility last year because he was suffering from dementia and Parkinson's disease severe enough that she could not care for him at home.
Within three months he fell three times, which is not unusual, but Rioux noticed that her husband often had bumps, bruises and other contusions.
When she asked the centre's staff to determine why, she says they did not follow up on her complaints, so she decided to install a hidden camera in his room.
The tape, segments of which she made available to reporters on Wednesday, revealed that her husband was able to get out of bed several times at night without an alarm going off, and Rioux says it shows several instances of verbal abuse by attendants.
In one segment an attendant can be heard saying "Fall and you will go to the hospital. I'm tired of taking care of you."
"I was shocked," said Rioux. "It's not the good way to take care of my husband or anybody else."
The camera also shows Mr. GC falling down several times.
Jean-Pierre Menard, the lawyer for Mr. GC's family, says all falls in a CHSLD must be documented.
"All the falls must be registered in the file," said Menard.
"We just showed on the video two falls that were not in the file. This means that he has had more than 45 falls."
Fortunately for Mr. GC, he has never suffered a fracture from his tumbles, but his wife says the tape should serve as a warning to long term care facilities that they need to be very careful in preventing life-threatening falls among the elderly.
The lawsuit also alleges that Mr. GC has been misdiagnosed by doctors as having epilepsy, and has been given a medication that makes him prone to falling.