In Dorval, a privately run seniors’ residence dealing with the current coronavirus outbreak has been compared with a “concentration camp” by health professionals. Reports of underfed and soiled residence were shared by the Montreal Gazette who investigated the facility.
The West Island has now seen 117 cases of coronavirus and more than 460 suspected cases in seniors’ facilities.
Residence Herron was placed under trusteeship by the West Island health authority on March 29. So far, two people have died at the residence and 20 have been quarantined. There are currently 154 suspected coronavirus cases. Reasons have not been given for placing Herron under trusteeship. The residence charges seniors from $6,000 to $10,000 per month.
One resident at Herron checked herself in to St. Mary’s Hospital two weeks ago to get tested for the virus after she was feeling unwell. The resident was able to return home that same day and her test results later came back positive.
A nurse from the hospital then attempted to reach the Herron resident but was unable to—even when she tried to contact residence administration. She then got in contact with the Montreal public health department and police became involved.
Police and public health officials then went to Herron and could not find a single person of authority in the building, according to a source who wished to remain anonymous.
“More importantly, the place was described as something akin to a concentration camp,” said the source.
“There were (two) patients who were dead in their beds,” the source added. “Their deaths had not been recognized. There were patients who had fallen on the floor. There were patients who hadn’t had any basic care for a number of days, diapers that hadn’t been changed for three or four days, excrement that was covering their skin and patients who hadn’t been fed.”
“Their whole second floor was infested with COVID. It was a hot floor. And there were just two orderlies for the entire (137-bed) institution.”
Nurses found some patients who were dehydrated to the point of being unable to talk at first. One resident was wearing three diapers that had feces coming out of them. Concerns of falsified medications and records have since come up.
The source explained that the Herron had more orderlies before the outbreak but they did not have the proper personal protective equipment to deal with the situation.
When speaking with City News on Wednesday, Katherine Chowieri, a spokesman for Katasa Groupe said, “It is obvious that we are experiencing some difficulty staffing during these unprecedented times. We are trying our best to keep our staff protected during their work shifts and paying them bonuses.”
“No matter the amount of staff on the floor, we always assure that services are given to our residents and that they are fed, but it may take longer than usual to assist.”
One physician pulled her mother from the facility, said the source.
“My concern is that there are still people there who will now get better care than they did before, but families had no idea what was going on,” the source noted. “And if they knew, maybe, maybe they would want to get their loved ones out of there.”
Montreal’s West Island has 15 private and public seniors’ residences that are struggling with the ongoing pandemic.
Documents show that privately run nursing homes in the West Island may be handling the situation far worse than the public sector.
There have been 260 residents quarantined in the private facilities compared with just 55 in public ones.