I am writing this letter in hope that it can save at least one elderly person from being abused. My father, 98 years old (99 per cent blind and very hard of hearing) who loves his independence resides in a private care home in Yorkton. He requires minimal assistance which is provided by the Yorkton Sunrise Health Home Care. One morning this past July, a home care worker that came to assist my father at his residence poured a glass of water on his head and then left his residence without any explanation for her actions. My father could not understand why this had happened, the water ran down his head unto his shirt and pants making it look like he had wet himself. This was reported to Home Care by a family member and was informed that someone from Home Care would be in touch with them regarding this incident; to this very day the family member has not been contacted. Upon further investigation we were basically told by the supervisor and manager of Home Care that this matter has been handled internally and the case is closed (we were not given any information as to why this incident happened); the impression I received from Home Care was - mind your own business. The RCMP was contacted and the family requested that assault charges be laid against the Home Care worker involved. Upon investigation by the RCMP, the Home Care worker did give a full statement to the RCMP and did admit to the physical assault to my father. We were then informed by the RCMP that this person in question (the Home Care worker) has suffered enough; as she was suspended for two- weeks without pay and during this suspension she was not covered for health care benefits. The RCMP also stated charges should not be laid as it was not in my father’s best interest to have to go to court and that this would burden him. Yes a very well rehearsed apology was finally made by the guilty Home Care worker not because she or the Sunrise Health Region Home Care felt this was necessary but because my father had requested one. During this so called apology the Home Care worker stated that the reason for her pouring a glass of water on my father was because she did not like a comment made by him (which he strongly denies making such a comment).
The Home Care worker that assaulted my father told me and other family members present that we should mind our own business and that “you are a third party in this matter, this is between your father and me”. The Sunrise Heath Region Home Care has washed its hands of this matter and will not discuss this matter any further.
The manager of Patient Safety in Yorkton was contacted as well - the impression that I received from her was that these things happen and that we should just drop the matter.
This Home Care worker has 17 years experience; I wonder how many times she has assaulted other elderly persons prior to this incident with my father? No, this is not the Home Care worker’s first assault, it is the first time that this person has been caught – her luck has run out! Who protects the elderly from assault or elder abuse? Not the RCMP, Not Home Care and certainly Not Patient Safety – we as family members must be more concerned about their well being. Hopefully the actions of this one individual doesn’t tarnish the image of the remaining Home Care workers, it is a known fact that if there is one bad apple in a box and you do not get rid of it, it will spoil the rest of the apples in the box, it is best to get rid of the one bad apple. I hope that the readers out there that have elderly parents who are receiving care from the Sunrise Health Region are more vigilant and take note in how their loved ones are being treated especially those who are unable to speak for themselves. The elderly people in this province should be treated with utmost respect regardless of their disability or handicap.