The executive director of Parkview Place said he didn’t feel pressured to admit an Alzheimer’s patient locked up in the remand centre, even though he’d received calls from administrators "up the ladder" to admit the senior locked up for injuring his wife.
Don Solar testified at the inquest into the March 2011 death of Parkview Place resident Frank Alexander after he was pushed to the floor by fellow Parkview resident Joe McLeod five months after McLeod was transferred from the remand centre to Parkview Place.
Solar, who’s run the personal care home on Edmonton Street for 16 years, said he heard media reports in October 2010 about McLeod being in the lockup instead of a care home or hospital when he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
"The media event that was occurring was garnering a lot of interest and discussion," he told the inquest.
"The assumption was there was pressure to get Mr. McLeod placed in a long-term care setting and out of remand," he said.
"Where did the pressure originate from?" Crown counsel Paul Cooper asked Solar.
"I would think somewhere in the department of health," said Solar.
"I was wondering where that AA (admission application) is going," he told the inquest. "Is it going to drop on our desk?"
Solar said Parkview downtown often admits temporary residents waiting to get into their chosen care home in the suburbs or are waiting to get "paneled" to determine what level of care they need. Normally, applications for admission are faxed to Parkview Place.
Not long after the media reported on McLeod being held in jail, Solar said he was called by the manager of the long-term care access centre and asked if they would consider admitting McLeod. He said told her they needed more information but he didn’t say no. Later that day, he received a call from the WRHA’s chief operating officer and vice-president of long term care and community area services Real Cloutier. Cloutier asked him to consider taking McLeod, Solar said. "They'd moved it up the ladder," Solar said.
Solar said he didn’t refuse to accept McLeod but said Parkview’s social worker would have to be involved in an assessment of McLeod.
Solar said he didn’t feel pressured to admit McLeod but felt the "rush and timeliness of the whole process."
The care home’s social worker Jeff Roos met with McLeod at the assessment and reported back to Solar that McLeod seemed no different than any other dementia resident at Parkview, said Solar. Except for one thing.
"I recall Jeff commenting it was the first time he was at an assessment where the person has been in shackles."
McLeod was quickly admitted without Parkview Place meeting with members of his family first or reviewing a psychiatric report prepared by the Health Sciences Centre, Solar admitted.