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Treating Our Elders with Dignity - a report on conditions at Lions Prairie Manor in Portage la Prairie and on home care in the community.

Today I tabled a report prepared by families of residents of the Lions Prairie Manor personal care home in Portage la Prairie.   They describe a very disturbing situation.   The report on Treating Our Elders with Dignity can be reached by clicking on  this link.   I raised the concerns detailed in the report in Question Period today.   The video of my questions and the Minister's responses is at this link.   The text of my questions and the Minister's responses is below.   

Lions Prairie Manor - Reports of Seniors Abuse

Hon. Jon Gerrard  (River Heights): Madam Speaker, today I table a report from family members of residents in Lions Prairie Manor in Portage la Prairie. It tells of seniors there being traumatized by inhumane and neglectful treatment, of a senior who was so poorly treated that his wife became severely depressed and suicidal, of family members being bullied and harassed by staff. 
      Will the Minister of Health, who's been previously made aware of this through letters, address these issues and meet today with family members who are in the gallery and listen to their stories and discuss with them the issues raised in their report?

Hon. Kelvin Goertzen (Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living): Madam Speaker, I understand that there is an investigation that's been undertaken by the protection of persons in care office. There has been about 100 interviews with families and staff members that have happened as a result of that investigation.
      As a result of the investigation the Continuing Care branch of our department has put the home's licence under review. There are–have been a number of unannounced inspections during that time to ensure standards are being met. We expect to get the results of the PCPO–or PPCO investigation in about 60 days.
      I can't speak to the actual investigation, but I will meet with family members to listen to them, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: The honourable member for River Heights, on a supplementary question.

Mr. Gerrard: I thank the minister.   The dignity and respect of seniors in personal-care homes requires staff to be knowledgeable and caring with respect to residents and their individual needs. Staff have been found to be unaware of important details of a person's care, in one case talking to a resident's left ear instead of the right ear through which they can hear. Another resident had a misplaced hearing aid and wasn't checked for hours. Residents' care plans are often ignored and not followed.   There needs to be sufficient properly trained staff to adequately care for seniors.
      Will the minister ensure seniors in the Lions Prairie Manor  will be treated with dignity and humanity, and that issues like hearing, toileting and cleanliness are properly addressed?
Mr. Goertzen: Well, Madam Speaker, I don't think there's a member of this House who doesn't believe that a senior should be treated with dignity and respect wherever they are in Manitoba.
      I've indicated to the member that there is an investigation that is well under way from the protection of persons in care office. There's been more than 100 interviews with family and with staff. We have the licence under review within the Continuing Care branch. I've agreed to meet to hear the stories of the family members immediately after question period.
      But he knows that I can't speak to the ongoing investigation or the allegations, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: The honourable member for River Heights, on a final supplementary.

Mr. Gerrard: Madam Speaker, on several occasions serious medical issues were missed and not treated quickly when they should have been. One senior who was severely short of breath was only taken to the Portage hospital to be checked after the family insisted on it. Arriving at the hospital, the family were told the woman had three litres of fluid on her lungs, and that if she had not had the fluid removed she would likely have drowned in her sleep overnight.  On another occasion, a woman with a broken hip was not able to see a doctor for 24 hours.
      Will the minister ensure that staff at the Lions Prairie Manor are better trained to recognize serious medical issues so that they are addressed promptly?

Hon. Kelvin Goertzen (Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living): Madam Speaker, while I can't speak to the specific allegations because they are part of the protection and persons care office investigation, as I've mentioned in the previous two answers, there is a full investigation that is under way. There's been more than 100 interviews, I understand, with families and with residents.
      I'm more than willing to listen to the families that I understand are here today immediately after question period, Madam Speaker.


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