Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Homes need guards: witness

Says some residents far too aggressive

  • Print

THE only witness to the fatal shove that ended up killing a nursing home resident says there should be security guards at personal care homes.

"You can't expect the desk clerk to handle everything," David Thorarinson, 63, said after testifying Friday at the inquest into the March 2011 death of fellow Parkview Place resident Frank Alexander.

Alexander, 87, died four days after being shoved to the floor by resident and fellow Alzheimer's sufferer, Joe McLeod.

Thorarinson said he doesn't know of any personal care homes with security guards but thinks the aggressive behaviour of some dementia residents may warrant them.

McLeod was transferred to Parkview Place from the Winnipeg Remand Centre, where he was held for 30 days after assaulting his wife in September 2010.

The inquest heard earlier his aggressive behaviour at the care home escalated after he arrived, and on March 24, 2011, resulted in fellow resident Alexander's fatal brain injury.

Thorarinson, who uses a wheelchair, watched the "burly" McLeod get up off a sofa and shove Alexander, who fell backwards to the floor. At the inquest, Thorarinson told Judge Michel Chartier he went down to the main-floor recreation area of Parkview Place about 7 p.m. to see what was going on.

He said there is a residents' smoking lounge and a receptionist on the main floor who couldn't see what was happening in the recreation area.

There were 15 to 20 residents playing bingo with the recreation co-ordinator but no other care home workers were present, he said.

"There was one staff member calling the bingo and that's all," said Thorarinson, who moved to the personal care home six years ago when he became physically disabled.

He didn't join the bingo game but wheeled to the area near the entrance of the recreation area where McLeod was seated on the sofa.

"Mr. Alexander walked in and was talking to Mr. McLeod," said Thorarinson. "It's obvious Mr. McLeod was bothered by Mr. Alexander... He said he was always following him around and bothering him," Thorarinson said.

"I don't know what Mr. Alexander said, but suddenly Mr. McLeod got up and shoved him over like that," he said, mimicking a push on Alexander's chest with both hands. "Mr. Alexander fell down and hit his head."

Thorarinson's statement to police in March 2011 said he heard McLeod say to Alexander, "If you don't think I can push you, you're wrong."

He said Friday that as soon as Alexander hit the floor, the recreation co-ordinator calling the bingo called for help. Nurses came and tried to revive him and an ambulance was called.

Thorarinson said McLeod was calmly seated on the sofa after the attack. "I said, 'Do you realize what you've done?... Why the heck would you do something like that?' He said, 'He was always following me.' "

Parkview Place has increased supervision in the recreation area since Alexander's death, the inquest heard earlier.

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 25, 2014 A4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

OT Glenn January and RB Nic Grigsby disappointed in loss to Riders

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese fight as a male defends his nesting site at the duck pond at St Vital Park Thursday morning- See Bryksa’s Goose a Day Photo- Day 08- May 10, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A Great Horned Owl that was caught up in some soccer nets in Shamrock Park in Southdale on November 16th was rehabilitated and returned to the the city park behind Shamrock School and released this afternoon. Sequence of the release. December 4, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you agree with the mandatory helmet law for cyclists under 18?

View Results

Ads by Google