Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Opposition Calls for Minimum Care Standards in Senior Centres

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Opposition Calls for Minimum Care Standards in Senior Centres

Article excerpt

Opposition calls for minimum care standards

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REGINA - The children of a Saskatchewan woman who say she was severely neglected in a nursing home want the government to improve care for seniors.

Margaret Warholm, 74, was a resident at the Santa Maria Senior Citizens Home in Regina when she was admitted to hospital in October 2013 for severe abdominal pain. She died days later of a gastro-vascular disorder.

"We're still grieving -- and it's been over a year -- because it wasn't fair," Leanna Macfarlane, Warholm's daughter-in-law, said Wednesday.

Medical records show that Warholm reported losing 30 pounds in a year and had compression fractures in her vertebrae. Her family attributes those to a fall Warholm took while aides were moving her at the centre. She also had a large bedsore on her back that Macfarlane believes could have been prevented.

The Opposition raised the case in question period as an argument for minimum care standards in the province.

NDP Leader Cam Broten said afterwards that standards for senior care in Saskatchewan are like a "patchwork quilt."

"Stories of not having the right food, of not getting the type of care, not getting the baths that people need, I hear these all the time," he said.

"This government needs to recognize that these aren't one-off random things. This is a pattern."

Medical records released by Warholm's children show that when she was admitted to hospital she was "quite immobile and in severe pain."

Macfarlane said family members regularly visited Warholm at the seniors home, but they didn't move her because she had spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spine that causes compression. She said they relied on aides at the centre to bathe and move Warholm.

That's why they never actually saw how big the bedsore was.

"We were told she had a bedsore the size of a quarter."

But when Warholm was admitted to hospital for an unrelated issue, nurses were shocked at the size of the sore and the rash across her back, she said. …

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