Advertisement

Family wants to hold system accountable after fall led to death

The family of a woman who died in a long term care facility wants answers about what a coroner's investigation deemed to be an accidental death.
The family of a woman who died in a long term care facility wants answers about what a coroner's investigation deemed to be an accidental death. Global News

REGINA – The family of a woman who died in a long term care facility wants answers about what a coroner’s investigation deemed to be an accidental death.

Jessie Sellwood, 87, died in December 2013 after a bad fall at Sunset Extendicare in Regina.

Her family says she required a mechanical lift, but only one care aide was assisting her when she fell, instead of two.

“In the health district, you’re not accountable. These homes are not accountable,” Jackie Lewis, Sellwood’s daughter in law, told reporters at the legislature Wednesday.

It’s the latest in a string of families to step forward in the past week with concerns about Saskatchewan long term care facilities.

“Now they’re sorry. That’s not good enough.”

Tweet This
Story continues below advertisement

Sellwood suffered injuries including a broken fibula. Medical records show she wasn’t given a cast – instead, she was put on medication.

Hours later she died.

“All of her transfer, all of her lifts, her repositioning … was wrong. Now, after eight months, they finally owned up to it. I have it in writing,” said Lewis. “Now they’re sorry. That’s not good enough.”

READ MORE: Does Saskatchewan need a seniors advocate?

Opposition critics say this is yet another case that shows the need for minimum standards in seniors care.

“The common denominator that we see in Jessie’s case … (and) other people that come forward, is that there aren’t enough staff,” said NDP leader Cam Broten. “That’s what we hear in location after location.”

Sellwood’s care plan only called for minimal assistance from care aides.

Health minister Dustin Duncan says the government is working to update those plans more frequently.

“Whether we can improve on the quarterly requirements, whether there’s a way to provide this type of information in the system on a more realtime basis to take into account the changing factors of an individual,” Duncan said.

Story continues below advertisement