FREDERICTON (GNB) – The New Brunswick Seniors’ Advocate released his first investigative report today, entitled: He Deserved Better-One Man’s Final Days in Long-Term Care.

Child, Youth and Seniors’ Advocate Norman Bossé issued 13 recommendations to the government as a call to protect nursing home residents from resident-to-resident violence and to improve the level of care of New Brunswick seniors.

“In February of 2021, the Office of the Seniors’ Advocate gave notice to the Department of Social Development of an investigative review of the department’s involvement with the death of a nursing home resident through both Nursing Home Services and Adult Protection,” said Bossé.

Through this investigation, the following questions arose regarding the services provided to this nursing home resident:

·         Could his death have been prevented?

·         Were there warning signs that his safety was at risk?

·         What was done to protect him?

·         Was his family kept informed and invited to collaborate on ways to keep him safe?

·         Did the Adult Protection investigation fulsomely examine all pertinent issues surrounding the nursing home’s ability to protect residents?

·         Was his family treated with compassion and dignity in the wake of the unexpected and exceptionally disturbing loss of their father?

“No families should see their loved ones suffer this way while they are placed in a nursing home, said Bossé. “In his case, we found a wide array of shortcomings and failures ranging from the nursing home’s inability to protect residents from harm and under-reporting of major incidents, to an Adult Protection investigation that did not take measures to ensure that all relevant and pertinent information was obtained and reviewed.”

To address these issues and several others that were identified upon an extensive review of files, and to improve upon the level of care and support provided to New Brunswick seniors, the Office of the Seniors’ Advocate has made recommendations in key areas including:

·         protection of nursing home residents

·         major incident reporting

·         complaint process

·         staff training

·         communication with family members of nursing home residents

·         Adult Protection investigations in nursing homes

·         independence and oversight of reviews of geriatric deaths and critical injuries.

“This is a story of a man who was the victim of different assaults from another resident causing injuries that led his death; he could be your father, your grandfather or your husband,” said Bossé. “We cannot look the other way; his safety should have been guaranteed. He deserved better and we need to make improvements; seniors deserve better.”