Alberta Health Services has opened a file on Points West Living Cold Lake and the facility has launched an internal investigation of their own after a former resident died in hospital shortly after being removed from the facility.
The family of Olga Penner – who was 85 and suffering from Alzheimer’s – say that while they were initially satisfied with the level of care she received, they feel it dropped significantly after replacement workers were brought in to replace locked out workers in a labour dispute that has been ongoing since December 16th. Penner had been at Points West since November and was pulled out of the facility shortly before she passed away.
“Olga is deeply missed by the workers who used to care for her, and we have extended our condolences to the Penner family,” says AUPE vice-president Mike Dempsey. “The concerns they are raising are similar to what we are hearing from other family members about the quality of care provided by replacement workers at PWL. We don’t want to hear about any more deaths that might have been prevented. We want these concerns addressed and dealt with accordingly by the province.”
Dempsy claims families of patients have reported to picketing staff cases of diapers not being changed in a timely fashion, not turning over immobile patients in their beds and replacement staff not interacting with seniors in a sociable manner. “I can’t speak one on one for the folks they’ve hired, but we believe it is not a standard of care our members would provide.”
A search of Alberta Health’s website shows that the facility has been found non-compliant in the last seven government inspections dating back to November 3rd.
Points West Living has released a statement of their own. “As reported in media, a patient at the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre who was briefly a member of our facility has passed away.
“We wish to express our sincere condolences to the family on their loss.
“To protect the privacy of the individual, the details of the short time they spent at Points West Living Cold Lake cannot be disclosed.
“The health and safety of our residents is the foremost priority of Points West Living. An internal investigation has been launched by our management team to review the time the resident spent at Points West Living Cold Lake.
“Points West Living has also welcomed an external investigation by Alberta Health Services (AHS.) We will cooperate fully with AHS.
“To ensure the integrity of these investigations, we are unable to provide further comment at this time.”