Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Daughter Says Her Mother Didn't Get a Bath for Three Months While in Care

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Daughter Says Her Mother Didn't Get a Bath for Three Months While in Care

Article excerpt

Daughter says mother didn't get bath for 3 months


REGINA - A Saskatchewan woman who says her mother went three months without a bath while in long-term care is calling for widespread changes to the system.

Debbie Windsor says her 74-year-old mother isn't being looked after properly at a Saskatoon facility for seniors and she attributes that to understaffing.

Windsor said she finally pushed a staff member to step in.

"I went there and within 20 minutes my mom was bathed," she said Thursday after her story was added to the Opposition's growing list of cases brought forward in question period about alleged neglect of seniors in care homes.

"There's no way I could physically put my mom in that tub. I'm in a wheelchair. All I have is my voice to get her in there, and my negotiating skills."

The NDP has been arguing for minimum care standards in the province.

Windsor's mother lives at Samaritan Place seniors home, which has brought in a model of care that requires residents to give permission to staff members in order to be bathed, she said.

But Windsor's mother, Margaret Froess, will tell staff members she doesn't need their help in an attempt to hold on to her independence, Windsor said.

"A lot of times this (model) ... translates into an excuse to do nothing for old people," Windsor said.

Her mother has also been assaulted by other residents with dementia and suffered spine fractures in one instance, she added.

A call to Samaritan Place was not immediately returned.

NDP Leader Cam Broten has said chronic understaffing in seniors homes is leading to neglect and that the government is minimizing concerns.

"There isn't that time to use gentle persuasive techniques," he said. "This is about ensuring that every person has their personal hygiene needs being met."

Health Minister Dustin Duncan said individual cases are being investigated, but he doesn't believe understaffing is systemic.

"We are following up to see whether or not this particular resident went three months without a bath," said Duncan. He suggested that staff trying to use gentle persuasion on someone can be ongoing. …

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