Thursday, August 14, 2014 — Deron Hamel
While long-term care homes are often the subject of negative press, Country Terrace resident Mac Grant says he thinks some reporters have been “watching too many old movies on TV.”
A recent news report cited several homes in southwestern Ontario — including Country Terrace — for the number of reported instances of abuse. Country Terrace staff members are committed to reporting, investigating and following up on any instance of alleged or suspected abuse to ensure the safety and care of residents.
The term “abuse” as used in long-term care home reporting is much broader than many news outlets represent. The definition includes verbal and emotional abuse, including disrespectful comments and neglectful care that could, for example, arise from a delay in coming to the assistance of a resident.
These are not tolerated by long-term care homes but are not measured in the community or most other health-care settings. Reported instances of abuse are not ranked in any way by measures of severity, and there is no process for retracting reported allegations that have been cleared upon investigation.
Since coming to live at Country Terrace, Grant says he has only seen and heard good things about the home. Staff and residents, he says treat each other with respect. He adds there’s a high level of care offered to residents living at Country Terrace.
“I’m very happy here,” he says over the phone, from his room at the Komoka long-term care home. “The management team is on top of everything.”
Occasionally, Grant notes, there are incidents where two residents don’t get along. When this happens, he says staff members are always quick to intervene and take steps to ensure those residents are kept separate.
“And in general, I’d say (resident conflicts are) pretty rare,” Grant says.
Administrator Karen Dann adds that resources like the province’s Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) initiative are a valuable tool for preventing resident-on-resident abuse.
“I am not negating that sometimes dementia leads to residents acting out in a way that may affect other residents or staff, but through our behavioural support program we address these behaviours and are committed to keeping all residents safe from harm,” she says.
“My experience, both as a staff nurse and as administrator here, is that staff are 100 per cent committed to providing a safe and happy experience for our residents.”
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