Man sat in feces, urine for hours at understaffed long-term care facility: wife
CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV Montreal’s Kelly Greig
Published Saturday, February 2, 2019 10:20PM EST
A Quebec woman says the treatment her husband is getting at a publicly funded, long-term care facility is unacceptable, claiming he once sat in his own excrement and urine for hours.
Patricia Beckford says there aren’t enough staff members to keep up with all 150 patients at the Denis-Benjamin-Viger Centre in L’Ile-Bizard, Que.
She says the biggest victims are the patients, including her husband Richard.
“I notice with his care, they leave him up in his chair from eight to 12 hours during the daytime and during this time he's not changed,” Beckford claimed in an interview with CTV Montreal. “He's sitting in urine- and feces-soaked diapers.”
“This is not human, this is inhumane, this isn't right,” she added. “They're human beings but they're treated worse than animals.”
Before this incident, a provincial court had already ordered the government-run facility to hire more employees.
But until that happens, patients like Beckford's husband are being left without basic care, she alleges. Beckford says that during the day, there are eight nurses but during the evenings, there are only three.
That means each of the nurses is technically responsible for around 50 patients each -- all of which will inevitably lead to patients being neglected, Beckford says.
Since the alleged incident with her husband, Beckford says she has increased the number of times she checks in on him.
Before her husband was taken to the facility, Beckford says he loved dancing -- including during his 65th birthday. But six years ago, he suffered a heart attack which changed his life.
Unfortunately for him, an ambulance didn’t arrive for 20 minutes, Beckford claims, which deprived his brain of oxygen and left him with permanent brain damage.
But an employee shortage problem is not just confined to this facility.
Last March, a nurses' union took on a group of university integrated health and social services centers (CIUSSS) in Montreal to court demanding it hire more staff.
The group of government-funded health centres, which included L’Ile-Bizard’s Denis-Benjamin-Viger Centre, appealed the decision. The case will now go back to court next month.
A union member said, “the judge did rule in our favour but the employer didn't want to respect that and decided to appeal the decision.”
In a statement, CIUSS said it was hiring new nurses and orderlies for its facilities but acknowledged their employee shortage.
“It should be noted that, as with all of our province's health care establishments, we are confronted with a labour shortage that has made this recruitment process more challenging,” a CIUSS statement read.