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Emma Frank: Abuse of a dependent adult

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Information Release

October 22/01 MONDAY 10AM – Court of Queens Bench

(Surrogate Matter) RE: EMMA FRANK Dependent Adult

DA03-5303 Court Room # 418

THE PUBLIC TRUSTEE’S OFFICE refuses to disclose how much money has been received by their office regarding the sterilization ofEmma, or fees charged by law firm Field, Atkinson and Perraton (Jon Faulds). Noted in the Statement of Accounts it appears that $56,000.was received. Most settlements were completed in November 1999. At the hearing of July 9/01, Lawyer, Les Hills stated that something over $18,000 had now dribbled in, though this was not included in his accounting. Alberta Law Courts

Lawyers, Les Hills, (See also: James Bain) Public Trustee and Pat Henderson, Public Guardian continue to fight tooth and nail not to allow anyone access to receipts in regard to the Passing of Accounts. Hills said in court that that no family member should be given full accounting with receipts & detailed accounting of any of the matters including the sterilization monies.”It is the law”.

July 16/01, Mr. Hills made an undertaking to file an affidavit in regard to these matters and serve all counsel. He has failed to do so.

At the July 16/01 hearing, Judge D.W. Perras (perhaps because there was media present) stated that in fact there were discrepancies. These accounts would have been quickly passed in May, had there not been public questioning, scrutiny and strong opposition.

“Some of the figures with respect to the traveling don’t add up. I can’t make the two coincide, it’s not just a matter of small amounts, it’s substantial”

Emma is an 81 year old who is happy with her coloring book and pencil crayons. Emma is a sterilization victim who has been assessed as “Gravely disabled, global, cognitive impairment related to Downs Syndrome”.

She is an insulin, dependent diabetic, cannot walk and therefore wheel chair bound, suffers from advanced vascular disease of her legs and is overweight. As is typical in nursing homes, no one bras these people. She has ugly ulcerous, draining lesions on her legs, which is an infection known as cellulitis. Cellulitis is a serious illness which should be treated with antibiotics and bed rest. These infected tissues could easily become gangrenous and require amputation. Her legs resemble red, angry looking stovepipes. How has this serious condition been allowed to advance to the stage at which it now is? Presently both legs are bandaged.

Unfortunately, it is typical in nursing homes that physicians fail to look under the covers of their residents. But they do faithfully sign the pt’s nursing file on aweekly basis, which guarantees their pay.

Emma Frank

Emma Frank, down syndrome with a serious cellulitis infection was schlepped across the country to dinner theatres, Nashville, Disneyland, Vancouver, costing her thousands of dollars charged to her estate under the blessing and authorization of Public Guardian officer Shirley Peleshytyk.

This explains why nursing homeelderly often have severe complications such as Emma’s advanced cellulitis or others who have advanced gaping, bed sores. Frequently elderly die of complications of these injuries. It is furthermore difficult to understand how a responsible physician (Dr. Shepherd of Fort Saskatchewan) could have allowed Emma to go on these lengthy flights.

Emma has been taken on lengthy airplane trips which necessarily exacerbates her severe condition. This elderly diabetic said that she recently had to get up early and get on several airplanes before breakfast. However when there, she said she was left in the room. She was not able to recall the names of the persons who accompanied her. Apparently Mrs Eleanor Low, RN, Administrator of the Rivercrest Nursing Home did accompany her on at least one of the trips.

What does an 81 year old diabetic, who has no teeth, eat when she attends elaborate Dinner Theater buffets or when she is schlepped across the country onairplanes and taken to all kinds of restaurants? If she eats, she is physically harmed. If she is disallowed to eat rich foods and gorgeous deserts from elaborate desert tables, she is harmed emotionally. Apparently she lacks the mental insight to comprehend her illness and the importance of diet. Eleanor Low RN, Administrator, has recorded that: “Emma is a diabetic. She does not understand the importance of diet”, nevertheless it would strongly appear that Eleanor Low is the one who facilitates and participates in many of these activities with Emma.

Noted are some of the excessive expenditures which are quickly dissipating Emma’s estate. Estate and for which solicitor Leslie Hills refuses to give details.

  • 08/19/99 -River Dance Tickets, taxi & meals – $263.50
  • 11/25/99 -Dinner Theater – $153.70
  • 01/11/00 – Dinner Theater – $191.82
  • 02/29/00 Dinner Theater – $192.54
  • 01/05/01 – Dinner Theater – $172.56
  • 02/23/01 – Dinner Theater – $173.45
  • 02/27/01 Ice Skating tickets, taxi and food – $163.25
  • Disney Land 04/06/99, – Sand and Sea Travel – $5,998.00
  • Kelowna – 02/04/99 Sand and Sea Travel – $4,598.25
  • Vancouver, BC, vacation costs – March/00 – $2,818,13
  • 3 airline tickets Kelowna – Sand & Sea Travel -04/14/99- $439.50
  • 1 airline ticket to Kelowna – 04/28/99
  • June 16//99 – expenses Kelowna – $2,656.50
  • Alaska Cruise – Sand and Sea Travel -06/01/00 – $6,064.44 + vacation costs $300. +
    spending funds $200. + insurance for staff $100. + video & camera $39.57 +
    camera $15.92 + various dinners and lunches (there was some reimbursement on
    this one $1,380.17 from a Grace and Charlene Bonneville)
    Three air flight tickets to Vancouver & expenses – 06/07/00 – $1,933.76 Emma does
    not believe she went to Alaska.
  • Trip to Las Vegas – Sand and Sea Travel – 02/11/00 – $6,235.00 Who spent the
    money?
  • Vancouver, BC, vacation costs – March/00 – $2,818,13
  • Vancouver, BC, July 7/00 – car rental – $560.37
  • Vancouver, BC – July 19/00 – airport fees, and family meal expenses – $132.72
  • Trip to Nashville, Tennessee – April 19-26/01, – $7,560.82 (Probably a 12-14 hr. trip
    plus the travel from Fort Saskatchewan to Calgary) Not all costs of this trip are included
    in this statement.
  • Regular payments to Compassion Canada of $372.00 – who authorized that payment?
  • Regular payments to Telus communications, however Emma had no phone.
  • No explanation for such expenditures as candy, considering that she is insulin
    dependent. Noted on Page 25, date 01/27/99 and 03/08/99 code #365 and Page 26,
    Eleanor Low – date 05/05/99 code # 369 – Easter Candy $23.85 – Ref No.1144800 &
    other entries.

A noteworthy Hendersonism is as follows, when it was stated at the last hearing that Emma would be on an extremely restricted diet:

“And sir, on that point I can advise apparently she, while a diabetic, can still eat a wide variety of foods. She just has to watch foods on a high sugar content. It’s not a severe diabetic problem”.

Emma was injured by the Provincial Government in the matter of the sterilization, therefore the Office of the Public Trustee and the Office of the Public Guardian of the provincial government, are in conflict of interest.

Emma Frank recent

Note the sticky, draining yellowish exudate from the lesions at the back and side of her right ankle and the anterior side of her left ankle. The angry, red appearance signals a severe infection.

Because of the interest in this matter, the Public Guardian, lawyer Pat Henderson, has now put forward a 2nd, affidavit which contradicts her April 23/01 affidavit putting forward the name of a niece. Previously the Public Guardians Application was to renew the Application For Guardianship by the Public Guardian. It strongly appears Ms. Henderson does not know what she is doing. She brought forward the niece and said niece was applying, however there was no accompanying affidavit filed, nor did niece Karen have a lawyer and no formal application had been made to the court.

The Honourable Mr. Justice D.Perras disallowed participation of interested persons as allowed pursuant to the Dependent Adults Act Section 5 and also evicted a sibling from the court who had been vocal. The elderly sibling died August 13/01, less than a month after the hearing. He also threatened Clifford Frank with costs before any application for guardianship was heard.

There is strong evidence of inappropriate and inadequate care and and even deliberate harm to the dependent elder. Note the photographs. The Office of the Public Guardian and Office of the Public Trustee has either disregarded or participated in the unethical behavior of members of the professional and care giving staff of the Rivercrest Nursing Home and failed to act in the best interests of the very dependent adult?

Ms. Henderson had questioned the presence of media, alleging that it was in contravention of the Dependent Adults Act. Indeed, Ms. Henderson, the court is the people’s court and is intended to be an open forum for the protection of the very people which it allegedly serves. The Public advocates are failing to protect the vulnerable.

The intent of Mr. Hills and Ms. Henderson is to have the Accounts passed on Monday Morning. A number of persons will be watching closely as to how Judge Perras will deal with these questionable matters.

The excessive expenditures and questionable behavior of participants which are identified within the Application For the Passing of the Accounts dated April 18, 2001 demand an independent audit and inquiry.

Office of the Public Guardian, Shirley Peleshytyk was the guardian of Emma Frank and authorized the excessive expenditure and international travel billed to Emma Frank.

Peleshytyk Report of decision

Complaint to the Law Society of Alberta

against
Mr. Leslie Hills
Office of the Public Trustee

RE: October 22/01 MONDAY 10AM – Court of Queens Bench (Surrogate Matter) RE: EMMA FRANK Dependent Adult DA03-5303 Court Room # 418

MR. LESLIE HILLS, LAWYER, FOR THE OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC TRUSTEE refused to disclose how much money had been received by their office regarding the sterilization of Emma Frank, or fees charged by law firm Field, Atkinson and Perraton (Jon Faulds).

Noted in the Statement of Accounts it appears that $56,000. was received. Most settlements were completed in November 1999.

At the hearing of July 9/01, Lawyer, Les Hills stated that something over $18,000 had now dribbled in, though this was not included in his accounting.

Lawyers, Les Hills, Public Trustee and Pat Henderson, Public Guardian continue to fight tooth and nail not to allow anyone access to receipts in regard to the Passing of Accounts. Hills said in court that that no family member should be given full accounting with receipts & detailed accounting of any of the matters including the sterilization monies.

“It is the law”.

July 16/01, Mr. Hills made an undertaking to file an affidavit in regard to these matters and serve all counsel. He has failed to do so.

At the July 16/01 hearing, Judge Perras (perhaps because there was media present) stated that in fact there were discrepancies. These accounts would have been quickly passed in May, had there not been public questioning, scrutiny and strong opposition. Judge Perrras stated the following:

“Some of the figures with respect to the traveling don’t add up. I can’t make the two coincide, it’s not just a matter of small amounts, it’s substantial”

Emma is an 81 year old who is happy with her coloring book and pencil crayons. Emma is a sterilization victim who has been assessed as:

“Gravely disabled, global, cognitive impairment related to Downs Syndrome”.

She is an insulin, dependent diabetic, cannot walk and therefore wheel chair bound, suffers from advanced vascular disease of her legs and is overweight. As is typical in nursing homes, no one bras these people. She has ugly ulcerous, draining lesions on her legs, which is an infection known as cellulitis. Cellulitis is a serious illness which should be treated with antibiotics and bed rest. These infected tissues could easily become gangrenous and require amputation. Her legs resemble red, angry looking stovepipes. How has this serious condition been allowed to advance to the stage at which it now is? Presently both legs are bandaged.

Unfortunately, it is typical in nursing homes that physicians fail to look under the covers of their residents. But they do faithfully sign the patient’s nursing file on a weekly basis which guarantees their pay. This explains why nursing home elderly often have severe complications such as Emma’s advanced cellulitis or others who have advanced gaping, bed sores. Frequently elderly die of complications of these injuries. It is furthermore difficult to understand how a responsible physician (Dr. Shepherd of Fort Saskatchewan) could have allowed Emma to go on these lengthy flights.

Emma has been taken on lengthy airplane trips which necessarily exacerbates her severe condition. This elderly diabetic said that she recently had to get up early and get on several airplanes before breakfast. However when there, she said she was left in the room. She was not able to recall the names of the persons who accompanied her. Apparently Mrs Eleanor Low, RN, Administrator of the Rivercrest Nursing Home did accompany her on at least one of the trips.

What does an 81 year old diabetic, who has no teeth, eat when she attends elaborate Dinner Theater buffets or when she is shlepped across the country on airplanes and taken to all kinds of restaurants? If she eats, she is physically harmed. If she is disallowed to eat rich foods and gorgeous deserts from elaborate desert tables, she is harmed emotionally. Apparently she lacks the mental insight to comprehend her illness

“Emma is a diabetic. She does not understand the importance of diet”, neverthless it would strongly appear that Eleanor Low is the one who facilitates and participates in many of these activities with Emma.

Noted are some of the excessive expenditures which are quickly dissipating Emma’s estate. Estate and for which solicitor Leslie Hills refuses to give details and for which Public Trustee Officer Leslie Hills authorized payment.

  • 08/19/99 – River Dance Tickets, taxi & meals – $263.50
  • 11/25/99 – Dinner Theater – $153.70
  • 01/11/00 – Dinner Theater – $191.82
  • 02/29/00 – Dinner Theater – $192.54
  • 01/05/01 – Dinner Theater – $172.56
  • 02/23/01 – Dinner Theater – $173.45
  • 02/27/01 Ice Skating tickets, taxi and food – $163.25
  • Disney Land 04/06/99, – Sand and Sea Travel – $5,998.00
  • Kelowna – 02/04/99 Sand and Sea Travel – $4,598.25
  • Vancouver, BC, vacation costs – March/00 – $2,818,13
  • 3 airline tickets Kelowna – Sand & Sea Travel -04/14/99- $439.50
  • 1 airline ticket to Kelowna – 04/28/99
  • June 16//99 – expenses Kelowna – $2,656.50
  • Alaska Cruise – Sand and Sea Travel -06/01/00 – $6,064.44 + vacation costs $300. + spending funds $200. + insurance for staff $100. + video & camera $39.57 + camera $15.92 + various dinners and lunches (there was some reimbursement on this one $1,380.17 from a Grace and Charlene Bonneville)
  • Three air flight tickets to Vancouver & expenses – 06/07/00 – $1,933.76 Emma does not believe she went to Alaska.
  • Trip to Las Vegas – Sand and Sea Travel – 02/11/00 – $6,235.00 Who spent the money?
  • Vancouver, BC, vacation costs – March/00 – $2,818,13
  • Vancouver, BC, July 7/00 – car rental – $560.37
  • Vancouver, BC – July 19/00 – airport fees, and family meal expenses – $132.72
  • Trip to Nashville, Tennessee – April 19-26/01, – $7,560.82 (Probably a 12-14 hr. trip plus the travel from Fort Saskatchewan to Calgary) Not all costs of this trip are included in this statement.
  • Regular payments to Compassion Canada of $372.00 – who authorized that payment?
  • Regular payments to Telus communications, however Emma had no phone.
  • No explanation for such expenditures as candy, considering that she is insulin dependent. Noted on Page 25, date 01/27/99 and 03/08/99 code #365 and Page 26,

Eleanor Low – date 05/05/99 code # 369 – Easter Candy $23.85 – Ref No.1144800 & other entries.

A noteworthy Hendersonism is as follows, when it was stated at the last hearing that Emma would be on an extremely restricted diet:

“And sir, on that point I can advise apparently she, while a diabetic, can still eat a wide variety of foods. She just has to watch foods on a high sugar content. It’s not a severe diabetic problem”.

Emma was injured by the Provincial Government in the matter of the sterilization, therefore the Office of the Public Trustee and the Office of the Public Guardian of the provincial government, are in conflict of interest.

Because of the interest in this matter, the Public Guardian, lawyer Pat Henderson, has now put forward a 2nd, affidavit which contradicts her April 23/01 affidavit putting forward the name of a niece. Previously the Public Guardians Application was to renew the Application For Guardianship by the Public Guardian. It strongly appears Ms. Henderson does not know what she is doing. She brought forward the niece and said niece was applying, however there was no accompanying affidavit filed, nor did niece Karen have a lawyer and no formal application had been made to the court.

The Honourable Mr. Justice D. Perras disallowed participation of interested persons as allowed pursuant to the Dependent Adults Act Section 5 and also evicted a sibling, Harold Frank from the court who had been vocal. The elderly sibling died August 13/01, less than a month after the hearing. Judge Perras also threatened Clifford Frank with costs before any application for guardianship was heard.

There is strong evidence of inappropriate and inadequate care and and even deliberate harm to the dependent elder.

Ms. Henderson had questioned the presence of media, alleging that it was in contravention of the Dependent Adults Act. Indeed, Ms. Henderson, the court is the people’s court and is intended to be an open forum for the protection of the very people which it allegedly serves. The Public advocates are failing to protect the vulnerable.

The intent of Mr. Hills and Ms. Henderson was to have the Accounts passed on the following Monday Morning which they were. No questions asked though a number of persons were watching closely as to how Judge Perras dealt with these questionable matters.

We allege that The Office of the Public Trustee namely Mr. Leslie Hills has either disregarded or participated in the unethical behavior of members of the professional and caregiving staff of the Rivercrest Nursing Home and failed to act in the best interests of the very dependent adult?

We further allege that the monies of Emma Mathilda Frank are not accounted for by the accounting of Mr. Les Hills.

WHO has benefitted by this process?

We allege that the excessive expenditures and questionable behavior of participants which are identified within the Application For the Passing of the Accounts dated April 18, 2001 demand an independent audit and inquiry by the Law Society of Alberta.

We allege that Mr. Charles Cousineau, lawyer, is culpable in this unsavoury matter in that during this process he failed to demand that this matter be honourably and honestly dealt with. He failed to demand an accounting by the Office of the Pulbic Trustee as represented by Mr. Leslie Hills, during the 22nd October, 2001 hearing.

By his silence, Mr. Cousineau allowed Mr. Hills to carry out the unethical process. He failed in his duty as an Officer of the Court.

Prepared by

Elder Advocates of Alberta Society

May 23, 2002

cc.
The Honourable Mr. David Hancock QC, Minister of Justice

News on Sterilization

CNW News report

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Affidavit Submitted to the Courts

COURT FILE NUMBER DA03-5303

COURT Court of Queens Bench of Alberta (Surrogate Matter)

JUDICIAL DISTRICT Edmonton

PERSON IN RESPECT OF WHOM Emma Mathilda Frank

THE APPLICATION IS BEING MADE

PROCEDURE Object to the Application to pass Accounts.
Request Independent Inquiry into matter
Discharge Restraining Order against Harold Frank
Request a copy of the passing of accounts for 1995.
Request the discharge of the Public Guardian and
appoint Harold Frank, Clifford Frank and a member of
Elder Advocates of Alberta as joint guardians.
Appoint interim co-trustees of the the Public Trustee, namely Harold Frank and Ruth Maria Adria of Elder Advocates of Alberta.

DOCUMENT Affidavit

DEPONENT/S NAME Ruth Maria Adria, Elder Advocates of Alberta

DATE OF AFFIDAVIT June 14, 2001

The deponent swears under oath that the following information is within the deponents knowledge and is true. Where the information is based on advice or information and belief, this is so stated.

  1. The following information is attached:
    • Copies of the objections to the Passing of Accounts by Joseph Green, Ruth Maria Adria, Clifford Frank, and Harold Frank, which were filed at the court on May 11, 2001.is attached as Exhibit A
    • A copy of a Notice of Hearing dated April 19, 1991 is attached as Exhibit B.
    • Copy of District Court Hearing dated August 27, 1947 is attached as Exhibit C
    • Last Will and Testament of Lydia Hougland (Frank) April 27/77is attached as Exhibit D
    • Last Will and Testament of Melankton Hougland April 27/77 is attached as Exhibit E
    • Power of Attorney in favour of Harold Frank February 9/81 is attached as Exhibit F.
    • Correspondence from Minister of Health dated April 24/89 is attached as Exhibit G
    • Correspondence from Pam Barrett, NDP dated September 13/89 is attached as Exhibit H
    • Certificate of Title re: Frank Mineral Rights is attached as Exhibit I
    • Correspondence to Harold Frank fromMcCuaig Desroches is attached as Exhibit J
    • Order September 18/89 re: Guardianship and Trusteeship of Emma is attached as Exhibit K
    • Tehama County Department of Social Welfare correspondence re Richard Wylie, Officer of the Office of the Public Trustee is attached as Exhibit L
    • Part Two, Substantial Benefit Information – signature Eleanor Low is attached as Exhibit M
    • Letter to Alberta Association of Registered Nurses re: registration of Eleanor Low is attached as Exhibit N
    • Response from Alberta Association of Registered Nurses dated May 28/01 is attached as Exhibit O
    • Consent of Guardian April 5/01 signed Shirley Peleshytyk is attached as Exhibit P.
    • Schedule Form I re: Emma Frank signed by Dr. Melanie Robles is attached as Exhibit Q.
    • E-mail letter of Kevin Darroch regarding Emma Frank is attached as Exhibit R
    • Restraining Order re Harold Frank dated September 16/91 is attached as Exhibit S
  2. Background and chronology information.
    1. I represent Elder Advocates of Alberta. We advocate for the frail, dependent, sick voiceless elderly and therefore have an interest in this matter. I am registered with the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses and presently have associate status.
    2. We were notified of the Application for Passing of the Accounts of Emma Mathilde Frank by Harold Frank. On the advice of Harold Frank, Elder Advocates of Alberta brought this matter forward, prepared the objections to the Passing of the Accounts and assisted, Clifford and Harold Frank, Joseph Green and Kevin Darroch to file their objection at the court. We also directed them to counsel. We are attaching copies of objections of Ruth Maria Adria, Joseph Green, Harold Frank and Clifford Frank. Please note Exhibit A
    3. Emma Mathilde Frank (Emma) is one of five children born to Lydia Rudolph Frank. The oldest is Emma born in 1920, then Ruth who died at 9 months, Norman, Berniece, Harold 1927, and then Cliff born in 1928. Norman and Berniece are also deceased.
    4. Emma has been severely handicapped since birth. The Superior Court of California described Emma as “gravely disabled, Organic Brain Syndrome with dementia”. Please note Exhibit B
    5. The family had limited means, primarily because Mr. Frank had a drinking problem. He died in a barn fire on April 11, 1942, at that time Harold was 15, Cliff 14 and Emma, though older was mentally handicapped and totally dependent.
    6. In the document, District Court of Northern Alberta, settling the estate of Mr. Rudolph Frank, it should be noted on page # 3, the Guardian’s Office, Administrator, took a fee of $50.00 from this struggling family. This was a considerable sum in those days. Throughout, the Public Guardian or Trustee, Administrator, as they were considered in those days, did not offer any services to the handicapped Emma, the underage children or the single mother. They took the money and turned their back on this bereaved family and the disabled Emma. Please note Exhibit C.
    7. Harold Frank recalls that they were tough times. In those days, they had hardly enough to eat. There were no government hand outs, not like now.The mother remarried because of dire need, Emma was sent to Alberta Hospital Oliver for care.
    8. Harold Frank (Harold) , the fifth child, purchased second hand clothing for Emma and attended to other of her needs at the hospital. He bought second hand clothing because that was all he could afford and even that, was more than he could afford in those days.
    9. Emma was physically abused and even beaten in the mental hospital. Conditions at Alberta Hospital were harsh in those days. Harold believes that as a result, Emma suffers from back problems. At no time did the Public Guardian’s (Administrators) Office intervene.
    10. Because of the mistreatment of Emma at Alberta Hospital, her mother and her husband Mel, took Emma home and supported her on their less than adequate pension. This was prior to the days of AISH.
    11. Harold applied to the Office of the Public Trustee (Mr. Richard Wylie) for assistance for his sister. The Office of the Public Trustee again refused assistance and again turned away from Emma’s needs. This happened about 1957.
    12. Harold then appealed to the Sherwood Park office of Social Services for some sort of welfare for his sister but was able to obtain very little. He persevered and was able to obtain a more substantial amount. About two years later, AISH was made available and Emma became a recipient.
    13. In 1977, both the mother Lydia and her husband Melankton Hougland made a will. Please note Exhibit Dand exhibit E.
    14. The Wills were prepared by Mr. Percy L. Herring QC of the Law Firm of Milner and Steer. The wills contained a stirpes restriction which caused some consternation with the inlaw members of the family.
    15. In reviewing the wills it is obvious that the parents entrusted Harold to care for and be responsible for the totally dependent Emma. Both parents named Harold as Trustee even though at the time he was not the oldest of the children.
    16. It is also significant to note that on February 9, 1981, Both Melankton and Lydia Hougland gave Power of Attorney to Harold Frank. Please note Exhibit F.
    17. Mrs Lydia Hougland became ill and was hospitalized. She was under the care of Dr. Shepherd of Fort Saskatchewan who did not allow her to return home and suggested she be admitted to the Rivercrest Lodge and Nursing home. Harold had to return home to sign the papers for her to be admitted because he had the Power of Attorney. Because Emma also needed care, she also was admitted to the Rivercrest Lodge Nursing Home.
    18. When Emma became a senior, she could not qualify for pension because she had no birth certificate. Therefore, Harold went to the Moravian Church in Bruderheim and obtained a copy of the Baptismal Certificate which stated the date of birth.
    19. Harold made a number of complaints to the Alberta Health Department concerning the care of Emma at the Rivercrest Lodge Nursing Home. He also complained to Vivian Lai on April 11,1989, Director of Nursing Homes Operations. The Minister of Health, Nancy Betkowski responded concerning some issues at the Rivercrest Nursing Home and promised an investigation by the Health Facilities Review Committee. Please Note Exhibit G
    20. Pam Barret, MLA, wrote an insightful letter concerning questionable practices at the Rivercrest Nursing home. Emma was not being served fresh fruit as part of her diet. Pease Note Exhibit H. However, Harold continued to advocate on behalf of his sister and the matter of the improper diet was ultimately remedied.
    21. The Frank family, had never sold their mineral rights in the Lamont area. Please Note Exhibit I.
    22. Harold, by considerable effort managed to wrest the major control of the family mineral rights from Canadian Occidental Petroleum which was an accomplishment. According to Harold, they had previously only had 121/2 % of the shares. Whereas after he broke the lease with the oil company they had 100% of the shares. Harold had 51% of the shares and the other four siblings the remainder. This caused dissension. There was also dissension over the interpretation regarding the wills of the parents and the matter of the sale of the family house which had been determined to be for Emma.
    23. It also appears, that when the dependent Emma was sixty nine years of age, finally, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee indicated a strong concern for this seriously disabled adult. Please note correspondence date August 28/89. Exhibit J.
    24. At the beginning of September, 1989 Harold took Emma to a physician who informed him that if he did not cut her water pils (diuretic) in half, she would be dead in six months. Harold then took her to another physician who suggested that he should cut even those in half.
    25. Harold had to go to the U.S. for medical reasons and therefore because he was concerned for her welfare and because he had been assigned trustee of Emma by both parents, determined to take Emma with him. He left September 15/89.
    26. After one month, the Public Trustees Office (Mr. R.Wylie) cut off Emma’s pension cheques. So it again fell to Harold to support Emma which he did for twenty months.
    27. In 1989, Justice DR.Matheson ordered Emma, in absentia, to be placed under interim guardianship of the Public Guardian and interim Trusteeship of the Public Trustee. Please note Exhibit K.
    28. During this period Mr. Richard Wylie, Office of the Public Trustee, was aware of the whereabouts of Emma but did not offer assistance to Emma or Harold. Please note Exhibit L.
    29. Emma was returned to Fort Saskatchewan in the spring of 1990. She was seventy years old. Harold was ordered not to visit Emma. Please note Exhibit S.
    30. The outdated functional assessment, signed by the Administrator of the Rivercrest Lodge Nursing Home, Ms. Eleanor Low, has indicated her professional status as “RN, Registered Nurse”, giving us the impression that she is presently registered with the the professional association. Please note Exhibit M. Please note Exhibit N and Exhibit O, which declares that this is not presently accurate.
    31. Please note Exhibit P, Consent of Guardian, signed by Shirley Peleshytyk for the Public Guardian. This document, dated April 5/01, states that 80 year old Emma is to be encouraged to: “become capable of caring for himself/herself and of making reasonable judgements in respect of matters relating to his/her person”.
    32. We question the ethical, validity of Ms. Peleshytyk’s sworn statement, having observed Emma, preoccupied with her coloring book, and crayons and taking into account the attached Schedule Form I, February 16/01, Exhibit Q, which identifies Emma as having ” Global , cognitive impairment related to Downs Syndrome”,
    33. The Statement of Account states that Emma has been taken to hotels, restaurants, planes, dinner theater and places where rich, lavish meals are the order of the day. Meals, which are totally contraindicated for a medication, dependent diabetic.
    34. If in fact Emma was denied the lavish meals which those acompanied her were eating she would suffer emotional harm, if she participated, she would suffer physical harm.
    35. What does this 81 year old person, who has no teeth and who is a diabetic eat when she attends these elaborate buffets? We have been informed that she lacks the mental insight to comprehend her illness and the importance of diet. And if she is taken there on a regular basis, it is not surprising to note that she has health problems which may be related to her diabetes. On page 3 of 4 of Functional Assessment, Ms. Eleanor Low makes the statement in regard to the dependent adult: “Emma is a diabetic. She does not understand the importance of diet”.Apparently Eleanor Low is the one who facilitates the attendance at these outings.
    36. Diabetes is a serious disease which is first and foremost treated by diet, a very restricted diet, no sauces, no gravies, no sugar. Neglected diabetes can quickly result in severe complications.
    37. There were a number of entries for such expenditures as candy, noted on Page 25, date 01/27/99 and 03/08/99 code #365 and Page 26, date 05/05/99 code # 369 – Easter Candy $23.85 – Ref No.1144800 and other entries.
    38. It is to be noted that Emma suffers from vascular disease of her legs, which if not carefully treated, results in ulcers and cellulitis. Emma apparently has cellulitis. Cellulitis is an infection of the tissues of the extremities. Ultimately, with venous insufficiency of this nature, there is the ever present threat of gangrenous changes to the tissues which can only be dealt with by amputation of the affected limbs. Please note Exhibit R which is an E-mail of Kevin Darroch
    39. Those of us who frequent nursing homes often see elderly amputees which most often is the result of understaffing and inadequate ethical nursing care.
    40. It is widely understood that air flights are dangerous for persons with circulatory problems and vascular disease. It places them at risk for further difficulties.
    41. Nevertheless, Emma was shlepped across the country on planes to a distant location, boarding several planes “before breakfast”. She must have been hungry to remember that. It is noteworthy that she does not recall that they packed snacks which are routine and necessary for diabetics, never mind having breakfast.
    42. She states that when there, she was left in the room.
    43. Concerning such a trip, an airline informed us that one would have to leave at 6:50 AM from Calgary and arrive in Nashville, Tennessee at 4:30 PM, our time, 8:30 PM. Of course they had to leave Fort Saskatchewan, some hours prior to that and fly to Calgary. We believe that they may have been underway for 12 to 14 hours or even much longer.
    44. According to the Account Statement, a payment is being made to Telus on a monthly basis. Unfortunately, several of us found the phone to be non-existent.
    45. The Public Guardian’s Office, as late as a few days ago, ordered to have Cliff Frank and a friend removed from the Rivercrest Nursing Home Lodge. They were carrying on a pleasant visit with Emma.
    46. When we visited Emma Frank, she informed us that she had recently made a trip, she had to get on several planes, for which she had to get up early before breakfast. She was not able to recall the names of the persons who accompanied her on the trip that she had made some days previously. She said that she would go on holidays where Mrs Low and her son wanted her to go. She informed us that Mrs Low’s son wishes to marry her.
    47. Emma also stated that she would very much like to see her brother Harold. Denying her access to her brother is in violation of the Protection For Persons in Care Act. Please note Exhibit R S.
    48. During our visit on May 5, 2001, Emma was occupied with a coloring book and a box of sharp pencil crayons.
  3. I believe that:
    1. Members of the professional and caregiving staff of the Rivercrest Lodge Nursing Home, with the full knowledge of the Office of the Public Guardian and the Office of the Public Trustee have by their actions or inaction;
      1. allowed and caused neglect of the dependent adult.
      2. caused harm to the dependent adult.
      3. by their actions or inaction, have placed the gravely disabled adult at risk.
    2. Have administered inappropriate, inadequate and less than ethical nursing care to this medication, dependent diabetic who suffers from severe complications of diabetes and vascular disease .
    3. There has been unethical behavior on the part of members of the professional and caregiving staff of the Rivercrest Lodge Nursing Home which has been either disregarded or participated in by the Office of the Public Guardian and the Office of the Public Trustee.
    4. There have been excessive, inappropriate expenditures which are rapidly dissipating the dependent, adult’s estate.
    5. The affidavit of the Officer of the Public Guardian, Shirley Peleshytyk fails to accurately portray the professional status of the Administrator of the Rivercrest Lodge Nursing Home.
    6. The affidavit of the Officer of the Public Guardian, Shirley Peleshytyk fails to accurately portray the health status of the dependent, adult Emma Frank.
    7. The sworn information, concerning the ability of Emma Frank to self advocate by the Officer of the Public Guardians Office, Shirley Peleshytyk, could be interpreted as an attempt to mislead the court in regard to the decision making capabilities of the dependent adult.
    8. Mr. Wylie’s filed affidavit identifies Clifford Frank as the dependent adult’s next of kin when in fact the older brother, Harold Frank is her next of kin.
    9. No detailed accounting was included in the Application For the Passing of Accounts, as to the total amount of monies awarded or received on behalf of Emma by the sterilization suit, or to the fees charged by Mr. Jon Faulds of the Law Firm of Field Atkinson and Perraton.
    10. Emma was injured by the Provincial Government in the matter of her sterilization. Therefore the Office of the Public Trustee and the Office of the Public Guardian, servants of the provincial government are in conflict of interest when serving as her guardian and trustee.
    11. The Rivercrest Lodge Nursing Home was in contravention of the Protection for Persons in Care Act Chapter P-19,5 when they ordered a family member and a friend who were quietly visiting the dependent adult to leave with the threat that the police would be called. The Act defines abuse to include: 1(a) ii “Intentionally causing emotional harm. . . . . coercing or restricting from appropriate social contact “.
    12. An Officer/s of the Office of the Public Guardian and Officer/s of the Office of the Public Trustee and professionals and other caregivers of the Rivercrest Lodge Nursing Home have failed to act in the best interests of the gravely disabled, 81 year old dependent adult, Emma Frank. I make this affidavit in support of an Order For:
      1. An immediate, independent physical examination of the dependent adult by a medical practitioner specialist who specializes in the treatment of vascular disease and its’ complications.
      2. An in-depth inquiry by an independent body in regard to the expenditures and behavior of all participants of this matter including but not limited to:. The expenditures as noted on the Application For the Passing of the Accounts dated April 18, 2001, including a copy of all receipts and payments made on behalf of Emma Frank including but not limited to, airline tickets, hotel receipts, restaurant receipts, taxi rceipts, dinner theater tickets receipts. A submission of the full names, occupations and professional status of all persons who accompanied Emma Frank on any of the noted holidays, dinner theater outings, restaurant meals and other outings. A total and detailed accounting with receipts and information of persons who accompanied Emma on the most recent eight day trip to Nashville, Tennessee on April 19 – 26, 2001 of which full accounting does not appear to have been included in the statement of account. That all information, explanations, receipts, and other information found during the investigation be made available to the Siblings of Emma Frank, namely Harold Frank, Clifford Frank and the Senior’s Advocate of Alberta, Ruth Maria Adria.A copy of the Accounts as Passed in 1995 and all expenditures prior to that date which have been made on Emma Mathilde Frank’s behalf. A total and detailed accounting concerning the monies received to date on behalf of Emma regarding the sterilization of Emma, including but not limited to such matters as lawyer’s fees.
      3. Dismiss the restraining Order against Harold Frank who is now an elderly person. A person who sought the best interests and faithfully met the needs of the dependent Emma Frank for forty years. He did so at a time when few cared about this seriously handicapped sister.
      4. Discharge the Public Guardian. Appoint the siblings of Emma Frank, Clifford Frank and Harold Frank together with the Senior’s Advocate of Alberta, Ruth Maria Adria RN (assoc.) as interim Co-Guardians until such time as these matters can be thoroughly canvassed by an independent inquiry.
      5. Appoint Harold Frank together with the Senior’s Advocate of Alberta, Ruth Maria Adria RN (assoc.) as interim Co-Trustees with the Office of the Public Trustee until such time as these matters can be thoroughly canvassed by an independent inquiry, with the restriction that no costs can be approved without written consultation.
      6. No person can be removed or deterred from visiting the dependent adult without the authority of a court order.
      7. A list, of all caregivers of the dependent adult, including but not limited to, doctors, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, mental health workers, nutritionists which dates back six months to the Application for the Passing of the Accounts.

Sworn or affirmed before me at Edmonton, Alberta

June, 2001 Ruth Maria Adria

Elder Advocates of Alberta

Court Order submitted to the court

COURT FILE NUMBER DA03-5303

COURT Court of Queens Bench of Alberta (Surrogate Matter)

JUDICIAL DISTRICT Edmonton

PERSON IN RESPECT OF WHOM Emma Mathilda Frank

THE ORDER IS BEING MADE BEFORE JUSTICE ON MONDAY JUNE 18TH 2001 IN CHAMBERS, EDMONTON ALBERTA.

ORDER

THIS MATTER HAVING COME BEFORE ME IN CHAMBERS AND HAVING HEARD WHAT WAS ALLEGED BY THE APPLICANT AND THE INTERESTED PERSONS, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

  1. An immediate, independent physical examination of the dependent adult by a medical practitioner specialist who specializes in the treatment of vascular disease and its’ complications.
  2. An inquiry by an independent body in regard to the expenditures and behavior of all participants concerning this matter.
  3. Restraining Order against Harold Frank be discharged.
  4. Grant a copy of the Passing of Accounts for 1995.
  5. The Public Guardian be discharged.
  6. Harold Frank, Clifford Frank and a member of Elder Advocates of Alberta, Ruth Maria Adria be appointed as interim Co-Guardians.
  7. Harold Frank and Ruth Maria Adria of Elder Advocates of Alberta be appointed as interim Co-Trustees with the Office of the Public Trustee (No costs to be approved without prior written consultation)
  8. No person can be removed or deterred from visiting the dependent adult without the authority of a court order.
  9. A list be issued, naming all caregivers of the dependent adult, including but not limited to, doctors, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, mental health workers, nutritionists which dates back six months to the Application for the Passing of the Accounts.

APPROVED AS TO FORM AND CONTENT ENTERED THIS 18TH DAY OF JUNE, 2001

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