Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

May 16, 2013 18:10 ET

No tolerance for resident abuse in long-term care homes, says CUPE

PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 16, 2013) - A hidden-camera video leaked to media and ensuing allegations of resident abuse at a Peterborough area long-term care home are "extremely disconcerting," says the union representing front-line staff.

It appears that the hidden-camera video clips leaked today to Peterborough media were taken without the knowledge of the nursing home administration, residents' families and front-line staff.

While she has not seen the video and is not aware of the specifics of the individual circumstances relating to the alleged incidences captured on the video, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick, herself a former long-term care worker, said the union is "taking these allegations very seriously. We do not condone or tolerate any form of resident abuse or neglect. We are committed to continuing to work constructively with residents' families and the provincial government to ensure care quality in homes improves. We are also mindful of our obligation to represent our members in the workplace."

CUPE has a decades-long record of advocating for quality care with dignity and for a legislated care standard for nursing home residents that research shows would make homes safer.

Recent media investigations into abuse and resident-on-resident violence in long-term care homes has put a spotlight on the pervasive issues that many experts agree stem from systemic sector underfunding and low staffing levels while homes are attempting to deal with a growing number of residents with complex behaviours, including dementia and Alzheimer's.

While the hidden-camera video of the alleged incidents is now being investigated, the systemic issues are "well-documented and profound," says Rennick. "Imagine how much better care would be and how much safer residents and staff would be if staffing levels were higher, and homes had enough funding so two staff work together during shifts. No one is working alone and residents get the care they need."

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