Level of violence in care homes ‘intolerable and unacceptable,’ says advocate
There have been at least 29 homicides in Ontario's long-term care homes in six years as a result of resident-on-resident incidents and that number may under-report the problem, according to the head of the Ontario Health Coalition. "We've been very concerned because increasingly we're getting reports in from family members and from workers and health professionals that the violence levels in long-term care homes are intolerable and unacceptable," said Natalie Mehra, executive director of the OHC, a watchdog for Ontario's public health care system.
The incidents usually involve at least one patient with dementia, which can manifest as aggression.
The tally came out today as part of a report on long-term care in the province by the OHC, which wants to raise awareness of the issue of violence in long-term care. The OHC counted the number of deaths deemed homicides by Ontario's Office of the Chief Coroner in its annual Geriatric and Long Term Care Review Committee reports.
In 2014, the chief coroner called homicides in long-term care an "urgent and persistent issue."
And there is some evidence the cases deemed homicide by the coroner do not show the full picture, Mehra says.
Assaulted in the hallway
Keith Wood is not counted in those numbers, yet. He was 79 when he died on Nov. 16, 2016, of blunt force trauma, 12 days after being assaulted by a fellow resident in the hallway of a long-term care home in Mississauga.