A family is speaking out about allegations of neglect towards their grandmother at a Port Perry nursing home. It comes as the family fears the elderly woman could soon die.
Yvette Hamilton knows her grandmother, Barbara Regimbal, to be a joyful woman. She says that changed earlier this year when she went to visit her at her nursing home in Port Perry.
“We knew something was wrong the moment we saw her,” Hamilton said.
In May, the 89-year-old fractured her hip. She received numerous staples post-surgery.
“A nurse was bathing her and she noticed something wasn’t right and she looked to find out that there were still staples in her,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton says the staples were supposed to be removed after 10 days, but weren’t taken out for three weeks. The family alleges a doctor at the nursing home didn’t follow up.
Then, the family says more problems began to occur. They say Regimbal told nurses she was having trouble going to the bathroom, but the issue was allegedly ignored for weeks.
“We called an ambulance, we got her taken to the Oshawa hospital and the nurses and staff there told us that if we had possibly waited any longer, she might not be here,” Hamilton explained.
Regimbal was then diagnosed with a urinary tract infection.
Among other allegations: the family says Regimbal was injured, but weren’t notified by staff from Port Perry Place until later in the day, they claim.
In addition, they allege routine medical follow-ups were not completed.
The family has since complained to the Ministry of Health, requesting the woman be moved out of the nursing home as soon as possible.
Port Perry Place would not comment specifically on the allegations involving Regimbal, but the facility provided a statement to Global News:
“We take any care concerns very seriously and we have a zero-tolerance policy for neglect of any kind,” executive director Tisha Peers said.
“As soon as we learned of the concerns, we followed policies and procedures to review the circumstances and notified all relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.”
The Ministry of Long-Term Care says it’s also unable to comment on specific cases.
However, spokesperson Mark Nesbitt told Global News in a statement that the ministry responds “immediately to any reports of serious harm or risk of serious harm through inquiries and on-site inspections.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton says her grandmother remains in poor condition.
“She’s depressed, she’s so sad, she’s ready to just give up and you can see it if you know her,” she said.
The family plans to stay with Regimbal at the Oshawa hospital, as they struggle to come to grips with the painful reality that they could lose her at any moment.
“No one cared,” Hamilton said.
“When you put your elderly in a home, you want them to get the greatest care that they can get for the end of their life, and when you realize they’re not getting that care, it’s disheartening to know.”