Families jump to defence of Victoria Manor

By Roderick Benns

Families jump to defence of Victoria Manor

In the wake of a CBC Marketplace report that named Victoria Manor as sixth worst in Ontario for abuse between residents, families are jumping to the defense of the municipally-run long term care home.

Ed O’Neil wrote to The Lindsay Advocate to say his mother has been in Victoria Manor “for over a year and a half.”

“And I found this (CBC Marketplace) report totally bogus,” he adds.

“Our experience is if there is an incident involving Mom we are called immediately. I find this facility is run with the utmost care and quality of life for the residents and their caregivers,” O’Neil says.

A woman only identified as ‘Tammy’ wrote in to say her grandmother was in Victoria Manor when her son was only six weeks old.

“I have to be honest, they were so awesome with my grandmother,” she recalls.

Lynn Stacey wrote to The Advocate to say that over the last 20 years she has visited friends, neighbours and relatives at Victoria Manor.

“The nursing staff is great and (they) care for their residents. I have never seen abuse or neglect in cleanliness of the residents (or) their rooms,” she says.

Roberta Allen contacted The Advocate to say her father was a resident at Victoria Manor a number of years ago. “And my family has only the highest praise for the care he received and the excellent staff that provided that care.”

Another woman, Leah Denault, wrote to say she doesn’t feel the CBC report is an accurate reflection of the care given at the Victoria Manor. She points out the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care has very tight guidelines for reporting abuse, so “why should they be penalized for reporting incidents?”

“I am sure that there are many other homes that don’t report abuse, so therefore their statistics would be lower,” she adds.

That’s an issue that Cheri Davidson, manager of communications, advertising and marketing for the City of Kawartha Lakes, seizes on, too.

“Victoria Manor has zero tolerance for abuse. They are following, to the letter, the instructions set forth by the province for reporting incidences. If that makes us have a higher than average reporting statistic, then so be it,” Davidson says, because it’s the right thing to do.

She also emphasizes that the reported incidences do not equal substantiated cases of abuse.

Rod Sutherland, director of human services at City of Kawartha Lakes, also pointed this out in his written response to CBC Marketplace. He wrote that Victoria Manor’s approach to critical incident reporting is to report incidents if there is even “suspicion” of abuse.

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

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,” Sutherland writes.

Residents give high marks

Pam Kulas, administrator of Victoria Manor, says that the overall 2017 resident satisfaction survey results were 92 per cent compared to 89 per cent in 2016, a three per cent increase. In the same period, the overall family satisfaction results increased to 85 per cent from 83 per cent.

Kulas says they know that more than 72 per cent of residents at Victoria Manor experience some form of dementia, too, which creates a higher-needs environment.

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