Here we go again. This week news of another shocking nursing home death – this time in The Wexford, a Scarborough long term care residence. A second resident was also injured in the resident-on-resident attack.
Health Minister Deb Matthews predictably told the Toronto Star “if there is anything that can be learned from this incident, you have my commitment that action will be taken.”
In 2003 then Health Minister George Smitherman was moved to tears after a Toronto Star series on resident abuse. His famously vowed a “revolution” in long-term care.
In 2005 a Coroner’s jury made 85 recommendations after investigating the 2001 deaths of two residents at the hands of another in a different Toronto-area nursing home.
At the time the report was released, the home’s lawyer suggested there was a gap in the system for specialized long-term care units for residents with cognitive impairment (today that describes almost a third of all long-term care residents).
Smitherman declined comment that time.
In 2008 David Caplan was asked about a Canadian Press series that showed three-quarters of Ontario long-term care homes were not in compliance with provincial legislation. Caplan said he was too new to the post to comment and promised nothing.
In 2010 Metroland, which operates community newspapers across Ontario, ran its own series on long-term care. They called it “Situation Critical.”