A week before 87-year-old Frank Alexander was pushed to the floor of his personal care home and later died, his attacker pushed another resident to the floor, an inquest heard today.
No action was taken to try and move 70-year-old Joe McLeod or to ask for more funding to help manage the resident whose aggressive behavior was escalating, Parkview Place executive director Don Solar testified at the inquest into Alexander’s death in March 2011.
McLeod was transferred to Parkview Place in October 2010 from the Winnipeg Remand Centre where he’d been locked up for 30 days after pushing and kicking his wife Rose who was badly cut.
The day after media reported on the Alzheimer’s sufferer being held in the lockup, Solar received calls from Winnipeg Regional Health Authority asking Parkview to consider admitting McLeod to the downtown care home. Solar told the WRHA officials there needed to be an assessment of McLeod first, and a social worker from Parkview took part in it. The social worker said McLeod appeared to be no different than any other Parkview resident with dementia and he was admitted to Parkview Place, Solar testified earlier.
Weeks after moving into a shared room in Parkview, McLeod wasn’t getting along with his roommate and had to be transferred to a private room. By Christmas time, McLeod’s aggressive behavior began to escalate. The retired welder who was physically strong attacked and threatened Parkview Place staff. In February, he went after a flooring installer who had to protect himself with a chair and police were called. The next day he went after a nurse and tried to attack her with a table. A week later, McLeod shoved a nurse into an elevator, choked her and pushed her face into the elevator buttons.
"This is potentially a life-threatening situation," Bill Gange, the lawyer for the Alexander family said to Solar.
"Did it not occur to you that by February 27 that Parkview Place could not handle Joe McLeod?" Gange asked.
"In retrospect I would say we should’ve taken quicker action with Mr. McLeod."
On March 17, 2011, McLeod shoved a resident to the floor, the inquest heard. On March 24, 2011, McLeod pushed Alexander, who fell backwards and died of a head injury.
Solar’s testimony continues today.