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Father spent two days on floor after fall says family suing N.S. home-care company | CBC News

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A Nova Scotia family suing a home-care company for lacking two scheduled visits with their father say they had been shocked to study the company says the person’s grownup youngsters are partially in charge for what occurred to him when he fell in his dwelling. 

Stephen Slaunwhite stated he believes his dad, John — then 84 — was on the floor for almost two days after a fall at his dwelling in Terence Bay, N.S., a rural group simply exterior Halifax, 

“He was very weak, barely conscious, very confused, he had blood around his mouth,” stated Slaunwhite, who found his dad on the floor in September 2019 after getting a name from a neighbour saying the house’s blinds had been closed all weekend.

“He was severely dehydrated. It was obvious he was on the floor for a long time.”

Slaunwhite’s father had been launched from hospital a number of weeks earlier after recovering from a hip fracture.

At that point, Nova Scotia’s provincial well being authority labored with the family and Closing the Gap home-care company to give you a plan for every day check-ins.

Company was anticipated to test in each morning

Closing the Gap was to test in each morning, put together John’s breakfast and do some basic housekeeping, stated Slaunwhite.

“We were quite comfortable with his mental state and his physical condition,” stated Slaunwhite. “At that time dad’s capabilities were, he was very well. He would call us if he needed anything. He was taking his own medication.”

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Slaunwhite and his two siblings got here up with a plan to go to Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights. They introduced their dad supper and sufficient leftovers to final the subsequent day or the weekend.

Slaunwhite stated there have been instances that Closing the Gap would name, saying an worker could not get to the home till the afternoon. In these circumstances, he would go to within the morning to verify his dad was all proper.

The siblings had agreed they’d transfer their dad to a facility if at any level they felt he wanted extra intense care, he stated.

“If at any time we felt it was unsafe for him to be home, we were just going to say, ‘Listen dad, it’s time to go.'”

John’s grownup youngsters say their father was in nice form earlier than the fall. They say he all the time took his medicine and so they felt comfy with him staying at dwelling. (Submitted by Stephen Slaunwhite)

Walker was the other way up within the nook

On Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, a neighbour known as the family to say John’s blinds had been down the entire weekend. The neighbour was involved.

When Slaunwhite could not attain his dad on the cellphone, he went to the home and located John on the floor within the bed room. His elbows and knees had been bruised. His walker was the other way up within the nook. 

Slaunwhite instantly known as for an ambulance. While he waited, he stated he observed his father’s medicine for Saturday and Sunday hadn’t been touched.

Last check-in was two days earlier in response to log e-book

He checked the log e-book for the home-care employee and noticed the final entry was Friday at 1 p.m., Slaunwhite stated.

“So they were late on Friday showing up for their morning visit, and they didn’t show up Saturday or Sunday for a visit,” he stated.

John was taken to the hospital and stayed there till mid-November. It took days for him to eat stable meals once more, Slaunwhite stated.

“He was in hard shape, he was very weak,” he stated

No apology or rationalization

Slaunwhite stated a supervisor from Closing the Gap advised his sister that the home-care employee had despatched an e mail apologizing to her supervisor.

But the siblings nonetheless do not know why the visits had been missed, he stated. They do not know if a home-care employee confirmed up, then left when their dad did not reply the door — or if no person went to the home in any respect.

They have not obtained an apology or a full rationalization of what occurred, and that is why they determined to sue, he stated.

Stephen Slaunwhite says he is shocked that Closing the Gap by no means apologized after lacking two visits along with his father. He says the family was motivated to sue the company as a result of they consider they deserve solutions. (Stephen Slaunwhite)

This is not the primary criticism in Nova Scotia concerning the company. In 2015, Closing the Gap apologized to a St. Margaret’s Bay family after home-care employees had been often late or failed to point out up in any respect on some events. 

Company says grownup youngsters share duty

Slaunwhite stated he’s shocked by how the company responded to their authorized declare: Closing the Gap stated the three grownup youngsters bear a few of the duty.

In courtroom paperwork, Closing the Gap stated if there was harm, loss or injury from the alleged scenario, it “was otherwise contributed to by, the failure of the applicant’s children to attend at the residence daily.”

Closing the Gap stated the family insisted on permitting John to maneuver again dwelling in early September 2019, regardless of hesitations from medical employees about John’s skill to stay dwelling alone. It stated Nova Scotia’s well being authority advisable twice every day visits, together with one from the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), to manage medicine.

The company stated the family pushed in opposition to that, and as an alternative the settlement was one home-care go to within the morning, and that the family would “attend to provide him with his evening meal.”

Slaunwhite disputes that, saying he and his siblings would have by no means allowed their father to go dwelling in the event that they weren’t assured in his independence.

Company: employee did not find out about spare key

“We certainly didn’t agree that we were going to go down every day,” he stated.  “If that’s the case, if we were going to visit every day, we wouldn’t need home care.”

Closing the Gap additionally stated it did not know there was a spare key obtainable for the home till after that weekend. Slaunwhite additionally vehemently disputes that.

He stated he was the one who confirmed the home-care employee the place the spare key was — on the window ledge. He stated she made a word on her cellphone to share together with her colleagues so they might bear in mind.

“There’s no question,” he stated. “That was one of the ways we felt confident that they would make quick access to the house and get in if there was an issue with dad.”

Slaunwhite stated even when the employee did not discover the important thing, they did not comply with protocol as a result of they did not name the family to say they could not get in the home.

“To leave a gentlemen, 84 years old at the time, on the floor for two days and not make an official apology — It was disgusting when they turned around and said it was our fault.”

Company employed once more

Closing the Gap declined an interview with CBC News, saying in an e mail: “Closing the Gap’s position is laid out in publicly available documents. We cannot comment beyond that as the legal proceeding is ongoing.”

When pressed additional to remark on protocols to make sure employees present as much as do their home-care checks, the company replied: “Clients of Closing the Gap can rest assured that their care is our top priority.”

When John’s situation did enhance, his son stated they once more needed him to return to his home. But the family discovered themselves in an uncomfortable place.

Closing the Gap is the one company that companies the world, so the family employed it as soon as once more.

Surveillance cameras put in in the home

This time, Slaunwhite stated, they put in cameras in the home, so they may often test on their dad. They additionally received an emergency alert button.

However, in the summertime of 2020, John’s well being had deteriorated to the purpose that he might not reside alone, he stated. 

“Dad actually ended up in a long-term care facility much sooner than we ever expected, so his costs are adding up.”

Slaunwhite stated they’re on the lookout for some cash to assist with these payments, however he stated the authorized battle can be about duty.

“Even if we were going to visit dad every day, it doesn’t take their responsibility away from showing up and doing their job,” he stated.

The well being authority additionally will not remark on the particular case due to the authorized motion. It stated it really works with businesses funded and accepted by the Department of Health and Wellness.


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