Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Monday, 9 September 2013

Staff found Mice nibbling on disabled resident’s face in care facility -

Staff found Mice nibbling on disabled resident’s face in care facility - 

Staff at a Lethbridge assisted living facility found mice nibbling on the face of a disabled woman with dementia, Friends of Medicare said Monday.

The woman required medical attention for bites that drew blood, but is recovering from the Sept. 1 incident at St. Therese Villa Designated Assisted Living, said Sandra Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare, a health-care advocacy group. The St. Therese facility is part of Edmonton-based Covenant Health, which is contracted by Alberta Health Services to provide health care at various locations.

“This woman was immobile and couldn’t protect herself,” said Azocar, who heard about the incident through staff. She hasn’t spoken directly with the woman or her family, but knows the woman has lived at St. Therese Villa from close to the time it opened in 2008. A mouse nest was found in the woman’s closet, Azocar said.

Covenant Health would not confirm the incident because of patient confidentiality, but said it follows safety and cleaning standards set out by Alberta Health Services and immediately responds to mice complaints by setting traps inside and outside the building, sealing entryways and cleaning the environment.

“An incident like this is absolutely heartbreaking,” said Sheli Murphy, vice-president of rural operations for Covenant Health.

“It’s not a good story. If that story is true, I can’t imagine what that must be feeling for not just the resident but also the family. So I certainly appreciate there is a lot of concern out there.”

Murphy said Covenant Health will work with Alberta Health Services and the Health Department to investigate the report.


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