Care home apologizes for filthy conditions


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The Ontario-based owner of Maples personal care home has apologized to a local family after one of its residents was left in filthy conditions.

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The Ontario-based owner of Maples personal care home has apologized to a local family after one of its residents was left in filthy conditions.

Dee-Dee Andrews says her 73-year-old father, Lloyd Bone, not only sat for hours in a urine-soaked bed and clothes, but urine had been left on the floor of his room for so long it was turning brown.

“The drunk tank is cleaner,” Andrews said of the space Bone has lived in since being transferred last year from the now-closed Parkview Place long-term care home.

Revera Inc., which owns and operates six long-term care and four retirement homes in Winnipeg, closed Parkview in 2022, saying the 60-year-old facility couldn’t be renovated to meet current long-term care standards.

According to Andrews, conditions at Maples are not better.

“I go to work and then I visit. Every visit, I have to clean him and his room. He has a dirty bed, dirty floors and dirty bottom from sleeping in his own urine,” she said.

Andrews added staff will only bring new sheets when she asks for them, and she cleans the room’s floors herself — once housekeeping brings her a mop and cleaning solution.

“Why can’t they just do their job so I can have my visit in peace?” she said. “I said to them: ‘would you let your dad or grandpa live like this?’”

Andrews said her father is a residential school survivor: “He suffered on his way in when he was a child, and now he is suffering on his way out.”

The Maples (500 Mandalay Dr.) care home was the site of one of Manitoba’s largest COVID-19 pandemic tragedies. During an outbreak between October 2020 and January 2021, 56 residents died, while 157 residents and 74 staff tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

A provincial probe later found the care home had severe staff shortages and hadn’t planned to take care of so many sick seniors.

“The health and safety of our residents is Revera’s top priority,” said a statement from a Revera spokesperson, when asked about Bone’s situation. “For privacy reasons, we cannot comment on a resident’s health or personal situation (but) what I can share is that we take the issues raised by the resident’s family very seriously.

“We have apologized to the family and are working with them to ensure the resident’s care needs continue to be supported.”

Revera’s statement said the cleanliness problem was not a facility-wide issue.

Eddie Calisto-Tavares isn’t so sure.

Calisto-Tavares, whose father, Manuel do Santos de Sousa Calisto, was a Maples resident until he died there at 88, during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, said she was not surprised to hear about facility cleanliness issues.

“It didn’t happen to my dad, both before the pandemic and during the pandemic, because I was there,” Calisto-Tavares said.

“But it did happen to others while I was looking after my dad there. I would even help others out. Even before the pandemic, you have people committed to their jobs, but they couldn’t get to everyone. We knew that,” she said.

“If you’re not present in their day-to-day life, it can happen at any personal care home — any of them.”

Calisto-Tavares, who is part of an ongoing lawsuit against Revera, said it was only through the court process so far that she learned the cleaning staff at the Maples aren’t employees of Revera.

“They are sub-contracted,” she said. “They wear uniforms like everyone else there, but they aren’t employees of the Maples. They’ve subcontracted out the cleaning.”

A spokeswoman for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, which inspects local personal and long-term care homes, said they can’t speak on individual situations because of patient privacy legislation.

“We can say that WRHA is aware of the situation and we are confident Revera is working with the family to resolve any concerns,” she said.

“WRHA leaders do visit the home regularly and no concerns were noted during the most recent visit. The last personal care home standards visit conducted by Manitoba Health also brought forward no concerns regarding cleanliness of the facility.”

Andrews said she is glad, after complaining since November about her dad’s situation, officials at the Maples and Revera are finally listening to her.

However, she still is beginning the process to bring Bone, who is under the watch of the Public Guardian and Trustee of Manitoba, under her guardianship and into her home.

“I would do anything for my dad.”

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.

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