Interior Health says it’s taking steps to improve care at Summerland Seniors Village following news reports that a 91-year-old man lay sick, helpless and alone in his room for several days last week.
In a news release Saturday, the health authority said a clinical consultant had been brought in to ensure residents at the facility are receiving appropriate care. The consultant will stay on site to work with management and staff to address concerns and improve care, the release said.
The action followed reports that Alfredo Bonaldi had been found lying in his own excrement by family members, who later discovered he had been absent from regular meals for more than three days. Staff had not checked on the man.
According to Interior Health, Bonaldi was residing in the independent-living section of the complex and wasn’t receiving care from Interior Health. Still, a spokesman for Retirement Concepts, the company that owns the facility, said Friday that staff should have investigated when he didn’t appear for a meal.
“An overall review of the residential-care section of the facility was already underway,” IH regional director of residential services Karen Bloemink said in Saturday’s news release. “However, in light of recent concerns brought to us, we believe additional steps are required and we want to assure residents living at Summerland Seniors Village and their loved ones that we are taking these concerns seriously.”
In addition to a clinical consultant being on site, the Ministry of Health is investigating what happened to Bonaldi. The ministry will send an inspector to the facility on Monday.
The release said Summerland Seniors Village and Retirement Concepts are co-operating fully with this work.
Summerland Seniors Village has faced scrutiny in the past.
In 2006, three staff members resigned when explicit photos of residents were taken with cellphones and circulated. Later that year, a care aide was dismissed for rough treatment of residents. In 2007, an employee pleaded guilty to stealing and using residents’ credit cards.