Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 01/25/2014 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
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.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 25, 2014 A4
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
RCMP investigate bee deaths in Manitoba
Beautiful buildings, bad planning dominate discussions at mayoral forum
Jackson croons his way into hearts of country-lovin' MTS centre crowd
Knife-wielding driver subdued at scene of crash
More boats in the water, more chances of finding something: Nepinak on Drag the Red River
Over 2,000 homes threatened in California fire
Province giving $100K to help with Ebola
CFL needs to follow NFL's lead, adopt policy against domestic abuse
Hustler and Lawless: Live at the News Café
Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger to split?
Replay: News Café hosts mayoral forum on urban planning
Wanted: top pot grower
Bowman offers up solutions to city's infrastructure woes
Rob Ford devastated by rare-cancer diagnosis
Mayoral candidates offer no vision for city: Chamber of Commerce
Bones discovered on riverbank still have to be examined
Vogiatzakis hoping to appeal to get on mayoral ballot
Steeves would boost speed limit signage, takes aim at photo-radar
Manitoba sees net gain of MDs over 2013
Fed keeps rates low, but brace for the inevitable
Harbouring runaway stymies CFS
Fielding will be PC candidate for Kirkfield Park
Soprano Gauvin earns bravas at MCO season opener
Expect lots of new faces on Winnipeg school boards
Streets near Forks closed Friday for CMHR opening ceremonies
Vigier analyzes Maurice's likely impact as Jets head coach
Rally to shed light on African Ebola epidemic
Collision in Brokenhead proves fatal
Searchers find bones near river
Extra blast of summer-like weather headed our way
After making 'mistake,' Vikings bench RB Peterson
Candidates offer food for thought
Orange is the new black
Scratching a seven-year itch
Big break in ambush probe: suspect's abandoned SUV
Comic books take over TV with four new series
Muskox makes rare appearance in Manitoba
Judy W-L vows to help spur ideas
One journey ends, another begins
A fond farewell to my buddy, Dale