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Ministry orders inspection of 'unacceptable' conditions at facility

Leacock Care Centre is also investigating resident's complaint and working with the ministry; 'They're doing damage control,' says resident advocating for 'positive' change
Leacock Care Centre resident Dav Langstroth sat in his own waste from 10:30 p.m. until 6 a.m. on the night of May 22 due to a lack of staff needed to change him, he said.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article originally appeared on OrilliaMatters, a local news site operated by Village Media.

The Leacock Care Centre will be subject to an inspection by the provincial government following an incident in which resident Dav Langstroth was left in his own excrement overnight due to staffing issues earlier this week.

On the night of May 22, Langstroth’s pleas for help could not be answered as he was left in his waste for seven-and-a-half hours, as there was only one personal support worker available to provide care for him. He typically requires two people to perform a change.

He described the incident as “dehumanizing,” as well as mentally and physically damaging.

After learning of the details from the original story published on OrilliaMatters, Paul Calandra, Ontario’s minister of long-term care, said the conditions described at the for-profit home “are unacceptable.”

“The Ministry of Long-Term Care will be conducting an inspection of the home to ensure any and all instances of non-compliance are corrected as quickly as possible,” Calandra said in a statement.

“Any home that fails to meet the care standards set out in the Fixing Long-Term Care Act is subject to corrective actions, including written notifications, administrative monetary penalties, and compliance orders.

“Repeated instances of non-compliance will result in escalating penalties, which could include mandatory management and cease of admissions orders.”

Jarlette Health Services, which owns and operates Leacock Care Centre, said it is investigating the incident, as well.

“Our primary concern, each and every day, is the health, safety and well-being of our residents,” said Trevor Sykes, community relations co-ordinator. “The investigation in response to the complaint by the resident is still underway.”

He said staff have been in regular contact with Langstroth, and added they have been in contact with the ministry through the investigation.

“Our team members continue to be in direct and regular contact with the resident to ensure they are receiving proper care and to confirm that their concerns are being addressed in a timely manner,” he said.

“We have made all mandatory reports to our regulatory authorities and we are actively following up with the resident and the Ministry of Long-Term Care throughout the course of the investigation.”

Langstroth confirmed Leacock Care Centre staff have been in contact with him regarding the incident, and he said numerous people have reached out to him to show support since it happened.

“They’re doing damage control, as opposed to reaching out to me and saying, ‘Do you have any suggestions? Can I be part of the process?’ That would be wonderful,” Langstroth told OrilliaMatters of the home’s response to the incident.

Moving forward, he hopes to help find solutions to incidents like these, not only for himself, but for others, suggesting long-term care homes could ensure they have an on-call schedule of personal support workers during understaffed shifts, among other ideas.

“I’d like to see positive change,” he said. “Maybe the administration and the residents can have a more direct connection, not in the form of complaints, but in positive suggestions.”

He also hopes to “make people accountable.”

“I don’t mean that in a nasty, revengeful way. I mean that in a caring, hopeful way,” he said. “There is always something more important. The excuses are endless, and there’s never accountability. (It) needs to stop.”

Despite the incident, Langstroth said staff at the care home try their best to carry out their work in a compassionate way.

He also noted the precarious position he is in, given he is complaining about those who provide care to him.

“I’m sitting in the midst of the people I’m complaining about, and I’m at their whim,” he said. “I’ve got to tread very, very carefully. I’ll never say anything against the organization — I’m just saying that the policies and procedures need to be reviewed.”

Due to Langstroth’s physical limitations, which have caused him to lose the use of his lower body, he has begun the process for medically assisted death, which he anticipates will take place in September, pending approval. Until then, he plans to advocate for change.

“I won’t see the change that I could possibly make, but I can be the advocate for that change for as long as I can,” he said.

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