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Canada’s first dementia village to open in Langley next year

Kevin Griffin, The Ottawa Citizen

Canada’s first community designed specifically for people with dementia is opening next year in Langley.  It’s called The Village. Comprised of six, single-storey cottage-style homes and a community centre, The Village will be home to 78 people with dementia, an umbrella term that includes people suffering from Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain diseases associated with aging. Care will be provided by 72 specially trained staff. Project leader Elroy Jespersen said The Village’s design was inspired by Hogeweyk, the world’s first dementia village, in The Netherlands. Jespersen, the vice-president of special projects for Verve Senior Living, said The Village builds on the other assisted- and extended-care communities he has developed during the past 29 years.

Read the rest here:
http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/canadas-first-dementia-village-to-open-in-langley-next-year/wcm/59e26f3b-0ec3-4949-8a28-bd3b49a02438

Expect more lawsuits over long-term care

Editorial, The Ottawa Citizen

Today, we report another tragic story of protection gone wrong for a senior in an Ottawa long-term care home. And it appears the death of 91-year-old Doris Lawton is headed to court, after her grandson filed a negligence suit against Carlingview Manor, where she was a resident. Ontario’s long-term care facilities can expect more such legal action until the province finally overhauls its flawed, rationed approach to long-term care. Lawton died Oct. 19 from a blood clot in her lung, having endured hip fractures, surgeries and multiple long hospital stays – all after being moved to a long-term care home that was supposed to provide safety and support for the Alzheimer’s patient. Her grandson, Bradley Sproule, believes the home could have prevented some of her repeated falls by following through on its own care plans for her. But he alleges Carlingview Manor did not, and is suing. According to Sproule’s allegations, which haven’t been tested in court, simple things such as bed rails and battery replacements in bed alarms were neglected. Sproule also says staff tried to prevent him from taking pictures documenting the lack of care. At press time, Carlingview hadn’t responded, but we know such stories are far from isolated. Last fall, a worker at the Garry J. Armstrong home who repeatedly hit Georges Karam, 89, in the face got jail time. In another local case, video captured an 85-year-old disabled woman being taunted by workers who would tell her “Die … you need to die now.” 

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http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-expect-more-lawsuits-over-long-term-care

Grandson alleges Ottawa long-term care home negligent in woman’s death

Elizabeth Payne, The Ottawa Citizen

When Doris Lawton’s Alzheimer’s disease began to worsen at age 93, her grandson moved her into a long-term care home to keep her safe. “I put her there because I thought she was going to be protected,” said Bradley Sproule. “That is the one thing that didn’t happen.” What did happen soon after Lawton moved to Carlingview Manor in 2016 were falls — including one the day after she returned from the hospital following surgery for a hip fracture, according to her grandson and a statement of claim he has filed against Revera Long Term Care Inc., which operates Carlingview Manor. Those repeated falls resulted in hip fractures, surgeries, long hospital stays and worsening health for the elderly Ottawa woman. She died on Oct. 19, 2017, from a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in her lung), not long after her final hospital stay. Sproule is suing Carlingview Manor for negligence, which he is alleging contributed to the death of his grandmother. In court documents filed as part of the lawsuit, he says that the long-term care home failed to protect his grandmother by initially failing to adapt her care plan to prevent falls. When it did make changes, he alleges, it failed to communicate them to staff. And even when it had a plan in place, the suit contends, it failed to follow it. 

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http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/i-put-her-there-because-i-thought-she-would-be-protected-grandson-sues-long-term-care-home

Citizen feature wins Joan Gullen Award for Media Excellence

Bruce Deachman, The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa Citizen reporter Blair Crawford has earned the Joan Gullen Award for Media Excellence for his feature The Wanderers, which examined issues surrounding people who, because of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, wander from their caregivers. In the feature, which appeared in the Citizen last March, Crawford carefully explained the stress and worry faced by people whose loved ones have wandered, and showed how perilous the problem can be for all involved. The story was nominated for the award by members of the Eastern branch of the Ontario Association of Social Workers and unanimously chosen by a panel of reviewers.

“This series of articles,” noted one reviewer, “provides a deep and captivating glimpse into an under-reported issue. I think, across the series, the author was able to capture various perspectives related to what could be done to minimize the chances of wandering (i.e. Smarter houses, redesigning homes and new programs designed to help find seniors), but also was able to capture the real-life impacts of families and individuals affected by Alzheimer’s directly. It culminated in a bit of a grim reminder that the statistics are daunting, and no cure has been found.”

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http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/citizen-feature-wins-joan-gullen-award-for-media-excellence

How lack of MD house calls keeps people from dying at home –
where they want to be

Elizabeth Payne, The Ottawa Citizen

Dr. Peter Tanuseputro treats most of his dying patients in their own homes. He offers patients his cellphone number and the assurance that he will be there when they need him. These house calls — part palliative care, part hand-holding — are embraced by grateful patients and their families. And they make the Orléans family medicine practice that Tanuseputro shares with his wife stand out. “We are in the minority,” he says of their home visits. What the husband and wife physicians do is relatively rare in Ontario, where most people say they want to die in their own homes but few do. Nearly 70 per cent of Ontario residents die in hospitals or long-term care facilities — some of them in busy emergency rooms waiting for a bed. Lack of access to in-home end-of-life care is key to the discrepancy between wishes and reality when it comes to end of life.

Read the rest here:

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/how-lack-of-house-calls-are-keeping-people-from-dying-where-they-want-at-home

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