List of problems at Niagara long-term care facility

Residents abusing other residents. Drugs not administered correctly. Dirty floors.

Equipment failures. Communication failures. Mold.

Less than two years after the provincial government temporarily assigned new management to take over a long-term care home in Niagara Falls for 90 days, inspectors at Millennium Trail Manor found a host of new problems.

A recent inspection report from the ministry of long-term care found 18 incidents of non-compliance with the Long-Term Care Repair Act inside the Oakwood Drive home.

They range from building maintenance and equipment issues, such as cracked tiles and a broken bathtub, to concerns about caring for residents, including one person who was not evaluated for new pain for two months and another who was not protected from abuse by a roommate.

Despite the ministry’s report, the result of 18 days of inspections in June and July, several employees at the 160-bed for-profit home say they have no hope things will get better and residents are paying the price.

“I have told people outright, never bring your family member into my nursing home. I can work there, but I’m not there all the time,” said a PSW.

“It’s gotten so bad people are changing careers because of it,” said another. “We really care about these people, so it’s terrible to see nothing being done.”

The Standard spoke one-on-one with seven PSWs about their concerns, including untrained staff, agency worker turnover, unsanitary conditions and broken equipment, including dead elevator batteries leaving residents hanging in the air, which have been falling on deaf ears for months. .

The employees spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of losing their jobs or other retaliation from their administration.

Millennium Trail Manor and its licensee group ConMed Health Care did not address specific allegations in the ministry’s inspection report or by employees, but said they are working with the ministry.

“Millennium Trail Manor is following Ontario Regulation 246/22 made under the Repair Long-Term (Care) Act, 2021, and is working with the Ministry of Long-Term Care to resolve any areas of deficiency that have been identified. In most cases. Recent inspection report,” he said in an emailed statement.

Among the problems cited by inspectors in the report released Sept. 8 was the home’s failure to ensure a resident was protected from abuse by a roommate.

An employee with knowledge of the case said the victim was being threatened and intimidated and was shaking and crying all the time. She said it was the staff who removed the woman from her room when management did nothing.

“Failure to protect the resident from abuse presented a risk to their feelings of safety,” the report says.

In another incident, inspectors found that the home failed to report an incident of abuse between two residents. In an interview, an employee said a woman had been caught holding a pillow over her roommate’s face a couple of times.

The home was also reported for failing to adequately care for a resident with dementia for five months.

Employees familiar with the case said it involved a woman with dementia who lost her inhibitions and was having sex with male residents. They said the men began to expect her to have sex with them even when she didn’t want it from her, even going so far as to grab her by her hair, and employees would constantly intervene.

Inspectors wrote that the home’s failure to act presented “a risk of potential harm and loss of dignity” to this and other residents.

There were also problems with medications not being given at the right times. And, in one case, inspectors found that a patient experiencing new pain was not evaluated for two months and continued to be given their regular pain reliever, which meant the resident did not receive potential interventions “to control or treat their pain.” “.

Ontario’s Long-Term Care Redress Act, passed last year, introduced increased enforcement tools and fines to hold non-compliant homes accountable.

The ministry said the government spent $20 million to double the number of inspectors, which will result in a ratio of about one inspector for every two nursing homes in the province.

Inspectors from Millennium Trail Manor gave the home written notice of the 18 findings of non-compliance with the law.

What that ultimately means in terms of real consequences for Millennium Trail Manor is unclear, even as the house has to fix the problems.

Ministry spokesman Mark Nesbitt said in an email that when written notices of non-compliance are issued, the ministry will continue to work with the home to ensure issues are addressed and residents are safe.

“If non-compliance issues continue to be found during future routine inspections, the ministry may take further action, including administrative monetary penalties, issue compliance orders, issue a cease admission order, issue an order to retain a third-party administrator of home, or even revoke a facility’s operating license,” he wrote.

In October 2020, while the home was dealing with a month-long facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak, the province put Niagara Health in charge for 90 days with a mandatory management order.

The ministry order said the improved management was necessary for the house to return to “normal operations and save lives”.

The order dated October 27, 2020 said that vacant key leadership positions, leadership fatigue, a “lack of urgency” and “lack of LTC home leadership team licensee support” were “affecting” negatively” the effective management of the outbreak.

Niagara Health transitioned from the home to ConMed on January 28, 2021. At least 17 residents have died in two COVID-19 outbreaks between September 29, 2020 and January 28, 2021.

All of the PSWs Standard spoke with said they would like to see Niagara Health back in charge because the home was kept clean, well-stocked and operated smoothly.

Niagara Health President and CEO Lynn Guerriero said in a statement that she has not been contacted for support at this time.

Ministry inspectors were at the building in 2021 and issued three reports in April and December 2021. Those reports had a total of 19 written notices ranging from failing to provide a care plan to failing to protect a resident from neglect.

During the most recent follow-up and complaints-based inspection, the ministry found that the house complied with 10 compliance orders that were previously issued, but found 18 new problems.

Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates, long-term care critic for the NDP, said the latest inspection results were troubling and especially disturbing given the history of the home.

“In fact, it infuriates me to know that our loved ones and staff are going into a workplace with so many issues, ongoing issues, and knowing full well that during COVID, Niagara Health has already taken care of them with a management order. obligatory”, Gates. he said, adding that they continue to see problems and that his office has raised issues with management.

“What will it take for this home to start providing the care and workplace that is needed?”

Gates wrote a letter to Long-Term Care Minister Paul Calandra saying it was “shocking” to see some of the problems in the home and asked what the timetable is for fixing them. He also asked what steps the ministry is taking to ensure the breach does not happen again and how the house will be held accountable for the inspection findings.

Gates told the Standard that the provincial government should stop awarding contracts to for-profit housing that is in trouble.

“What we are seeing at Millennium Trail Manor is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Employees who spoke to Standard were frustrated, angry and, in some cases, in tears when talking about the residents in their care.

“We have tried to get our calls back from the long-term care minister, which has not happened yet. We basically spam him and call him all the time to try to get a response from his office, telling them to take us seriously,” one PSW said.

Carol Dueck, chair of the advocacy committee for Family Council Network 4, which oversees 87 nursing homes from Hamilton to Niagara, said what employees feel is happening in many homes because there is no funding.

“We don’t respect our elders and we don’t pay people a living wage to work there. And we’ve been behind the gun for so long that it’s very expensive to catch up,” he said.

“MPPs are being pushed to spend money on the 413 (freeway), health care, long-term care, daycare, fixing potholes. Where do we spend our money?

“And the iron ring around long-term care and older people is not happening.”

Leave a Comment