Thursday, June 30, 2011

PSW bites a special constable; conditional discharge, still works as PSW

My late father was blessed with terrific PSWs
Personal Support Workers provide the most intimate of care for our loved ones. They deliver services to residents unable to carry out their own activities of Daily Living (ADLs); toileting, changing adult incontinent products, bathing, in institutions, private homes, retirement homes.

A call-to-arms has risen to protect seniors from elder abuse, yet the most simplest of solutions, to register and monitor the behaviour of PSWs goes unheeded. As long at four years ago, at a conference call between those of us acting a Family Council chairs for long-term care, many of us begged that PSWs be registered, trained, and supervised. Currently, there is no standard training. We train early childhood educators and demand they have their ECE two-year course, while PSWs working in profit and non-profits do not have similar requirements.

My dear friend, paraplegic with spinal stenosis.
I wrote about her in my book, as well as my parents.
PSWs are free to go from agency to agency, without their actions being tracked. The good ones often end up with the better paying jobs in hospitals. But all of them are part of those delivering services, subsidized by taxpayers in retirement homes, long-term care and delivering home care to seniors in these institutions and in their homes.

This PSW, with a history of alcohol abuse and violence, does not belong on the registry of PSWs, nor should he be working with people.

Judge grants would-be nurse a conditional discharge Ottawa Citizen
Ontario Court Justice Heather Perkins-McVey gave Mario Laliberté a conditional discharge and placed him on probation for a year after he admitted to biting a special constable while drunk. He was arrested Nov 29, 2010, for causing a disturbance and he bit through the officer's glove.
The judge, Justice Heather Perkins.McVey, an alcoholic who had received a discharge for a similar incident involving a security guard, said he had been abused as a child.
These ladies were wonderful with Dad.

Lalibert√© asked for leniency because one day he hoped to become a nurse and a criminal record would make it impossible for this. Why would a PSW be able to work with frail seniors, with those who have dementia, and the ensuing behavioural issues?

The four A's of dementia: anger, agitation, anxiety, apathy, demand we have highly trained workers who understand aging, dementia, and have anger management training. [Gentle Persuasive Approaches in Dementia Care.]

This violence goes both ways, but the focus is on seniors who are abused.
Man, 87, dies after Winnipeg care home assault

The accused, Joe McLeod, had previously been jailed for allegedly assaulting his wife.

All residents and all workers must be protected. This means that staff must be highly trained. The training varies, home to home, agency to agency.
But the pattern is that PSWs escape being charged if homes decline to charge them and fire them instead.
This case:

Worker charged in patient assault

30 Jun 2011 – A personal support worker at the Perley and Rideau Veterans Health Centre has been charged

is all the more frightening, since the worker was simply fired before charges were laid, after the incident in late May. Perley residents are at their most vulnerable, unable to communicate.
This PSW had been there for 21 years. Rey Lozada, 58, may well have burned out. Staff, family, friends must be vigilant in looking for signs.
While most abuse occurs at the hands of people residents know, the benefits of having a loved one in an institution with strict guidelines regarding staff and staff training, as well as whistleblower protocols, is enormous. It was a fellow PSW who reported the abuse.

In other stories:

 with assaulting a 90-year-old patient.

Hospital worker charged with sexually assaulting patient 
18 Feb 2011 – A 45-year-old male personal support worker at a hospital in Durham Region is accused of groping a patient.

Personal support worker charged
 with sexual assault 
21 Feb 2011 – A Scarborough personal support worker at the Rouge Valley Ajax Pickering... week with sexually assaulting a 22-year-old male patient recovering from surgery...Hospital was charged last week with sexually assaulting a

The PSW has been convicted, with a suspended sentence. This means, at least, that she has a record and cannot work with vulnerable people. 

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