CBC Marketplace names Victoria Manor as sixth worst in Ontario for abuse between residents

By Roderick Benns

City says Victoria Manor has more residents with a higher degree of cognitive impairments.

A CBC Marketplace investigation has named Victoria Manor in Lindsay as the sixth worst in the Province for abuse between residents in looking at statistics from 2016 – but the City of Kawartha Lakes says that’s not the whole story.

Victoria Manor is a 166-bed, municipal long term care home, owned by the City of Kawartha Lakes.

In a written response to CBC Marketplace on Jan. 19, Rod Sutherland, director of human services at City of Kawartha Lakes, notes that the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) summarizes the expectation of the Ministry Health and Long Term Care this way:

“The definitions of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse under the Long Term Care Homes Act are much broader than in any other health care setting and staff are sometimes uncertain about what constitutes abuse and how to report it. For example, verbal abuse includes calling a resident ‘dearie’ because it is considered belittling language. Or if a resident slaps another resident’s hand for reaching in front of them during a meal, that would also be considered abuse.”

Sutherland says that Victoria Manor’s approach to critical incident reporting is to report incidents if there is any “suspicion” of abuse.

“Reporting alone does not rely on substantiation of the concern.”

Further, Sutherland says that with the Ministry requirement to report incidents within 24 hours, there is often an incident reported prior to the completion of the investigation.

“An investigation completed after the submission of an incident, with no finding of abuse, does not remove or negate the reporting and tracking of the incident.”

The City points out that the overall 2017 resident satisfaction survey results were 92 per cent compared to 89 per cent in 2016. In the same period, the overall family satisfaction results increased to 85 per cent from 83 per cent.

The year-long CBC Marketplace investigation found that violence is “on the rise” in Ontario’s nursing homes.

“Between 2011 and 2016, reported abuse between residents or by caregivers has more than doubled in long-term care facilities,” according to CBC Marketplace.

Sutherland notes that the design of Victoria Manor also includes a specific home area that is secure and separate from the rest of the home.

“With this secure home area, Victoria Manor also receives residents with a higher degree of cognitive impairments than homes without a similar design.”

Victoria Manor has supports to enhance services for residents who have significant and complex mental health, dementia and other neurological conditions, notes Sutherland, with “over 72 per cent of whom experience some degree of dementia.”

Victoria Manor also receives more residents with complex behaviours due to the fact it has more resources available.

In the letter to Marketplace, Sutherland notes the facility always strives for official continuous improvement.

“Ensuring the safety and well-being of the residents and providing the best possible quality of life are paramount.”

CBC Marketplace also looked at staff-to-resident abuse but Victoria Manor was not on this list.

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