Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Seniors Care Company Says Alberta Woman with Dementia Not Bitten by Mice

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Seniors Care Company Says Alberta Woman with Dementia Not Bitten by Mice

Article excerpt

Long-term care company says woman not bitten

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EDMONTON - The company at the centre of a controversy over conditions at a long-term care home in southern Alberta says its investigation has shown a disabled resident with dementia was not bitten by a mouse.

Covenant Health says its officials spoke with care staff at St. Therese Villa, reviewed documentation and consulted a doctor.

The company says while a mouse was sighted in the woman's room, there is no evidence a mouse was ever near her.

The company also says a doctor has concluded her wounds were not caused by an animal bite but by a viral condition.

Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne ordered an investigation into a complaint that mice were found nibbling on the face of the woman, whose disabilities would have prevented her from moving the mice away.

Horne said Tuesday the probe will be conducted under the Protection for Persons in Care Act, along with a review into whether health standards were breached at the Lethbridge facility.

"I'm extremely angry about this," he told reporters outside his office. "This is completely unacceptable. It's intolerable in this province or any other province, and we will get to the bottom of it."

A health-care advocacy group called Friends of Medicare brought forward the allegations that staff at St. Therese Villa found mice on the face of the patient on Sept. 1.

Executive director Sandra Azocar said a nest of mice was later found in the woman's closet.

Azocar said the woman has been given medication to prevent infection and is also suffering emotionally.

Covenant Health CEO Patrick Dumelie said in a news release that he is confident in the results of the medical review which concluded appropriate care and treatment were provided.

"We can understand how the public would be alarmed at a story like the one that was circulated yesterday," he said. …

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