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Inquest into care home death begins

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An inquest into the death of a personal care home resident who was pushed to the floor by a fellow resident began today.

Frank Alexander, 87, died in March 2011 after he was pushed to the floor by Alzheimer patient Joseph McLeod, then 70, at Parkview Place in downtown Winnipeg.

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"It’s hoped what we’ve learned here is something we can use going forward," said Crown counsel Paul Cooper.

The inquest is expected to last three weeks and take a close look at a "sad matter," Cooper said.

McLeod made headlines in 2010 after he was held for a month at the remand centre after pushing his wife who needed stitches. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority got involved, had McLeod assessed and then placed in Parkview Place. Alexander had been staying at the Edmonton Street care home waiting for a space to open at Deer Lodge Centre. Alexander was pushed by McLeod, fell backwards and died four days later from a brain injury. McLeod was charged with manslaughter then declared unfit to stand trial. He was transferred to the Selkirk Mental Health Centre.

The inquest is expected to hear from close to 20 witnesses, starting with expert witness, Dr. Barry Campbell. The Winnipeg geriatric psychiatrist testified today that he’s seen long waits for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia who have behavioural issues and can’t be in a regular care home, but aren’t so severe they need to be in the Selkirk facility.

"The waits can be years," he said.

 

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