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First Letter – December 19, 2007

Via Facsimile 780 453 0546
Letter to follow

Ms. Sue Chandler,
Complaints Director
College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta
11620 168 Street
Edmonton, AB T5M 4A6

Complaint against Darlene Bouclin RN, owner and operator

  • There is no valid license posted at the Home.
  • Posted are two lapsed licenses for the Duplex. 
  • There is only one worker at all times despite two licenses. One of the day staff workers is six months pregnant.
  • One staff person for 8 dependant persons.
  • One man is wheel chair dependant
  • One lady has advanced ALS, can no longer speak, requires tube feeding is confined to her room.
  • One elderly person has severe congestive heart failure and fell to the floor. A resident had to assist to pick her up.

Fire safety is obviously being disregarded. Who could evacuate these helpless persons in the event of a fire? Evacuation was not possible in the Capilano fire early this year when a dependant person burned to death in the basement of the group home.

Staff persons are PCA’s who have no training.

Medications are administered by the PCA.

Food sometimes inadequate and inappropriate. i.e. two fried eggs which were somewhat raw and french fries composed a noon meal.

Mice are sometimes seen in the kitchen area.

No recreational activities for residents only TV & eating.

In November, Alberta Health & Environment was called because the group home rooms were cold. Cold rooms were also reported in February, 2007.

Some residents live in 8′ x 10′ x 4′ rooms and pay $2,600.00 per month and have to go down the hall for sink, toilet and shower. These rooms require illumination during the daytime.

Three persons were transferred from Alberta Hospital Edmonton by Public Guardian Officer Debbie Urquhart, to this home. When objection was made concerning the quality of the accommodation or cost, the threat was made that they would be returned to Alberta Hospital and injected with a needle. This is terrifying. These injections cause extreme distress, headache and may endure for several days.

A resident has paid $78,000.00 to Darlene Bouclin in the last 21-22 years.

Residents must purchase their medications and related supplies at the Primrose Pharmacy which is owned by the sister of the owner Darlene Bouclin. Supplies such as Kleenex tissues may be charged to a resident but used generally for the facility.

Darlene Bouclin has Power of Attorney over a 97-year-old resident. The resident said she had no choice but to sign over Power of Attorney when she was accepted into the home. Upon admission, Darlene Bouclin took this senior immediately to a lawyer and the senior signed over half of her estate.

The 97-year-old who is very alert has said that Darlene Bouclin also has obtained Power of Attorney over other seniors at the facility or elsewhere.

Darlene Bouclin spends hours visiting this lady, door closed. She drives her to appointments and even to friends but does not provide this service to other residents. The Group Home is located three blocks from a bus stop.

Darlene Bouclin’s group home has plastic flowers on the deck year round, however she provides a continuous supply of fresh cut flowers to this 97 year old lady’s room. The senior who is very sharp states that she understands that it is probably her money that is paying for all the flowers.

Much more could be said.

We allege that Darlene Bouclin RN:

  • fails to act as a patient advocate
  • fails to act in a professional and ethical manner
  • fails to act in the best interests of the client
  • fails to maintain protocol and standards that result in safe, ethical care

Many professionals and people in high places are fully informed of this situation including the Office of the Public Guardian and the Office of the Public Trustee.

We request your investigation into this matter. We would be grateful to be in receipt of a response by the 10th January 2008. Thank you.

Furthermore, we anticipate that those to whom this complaint has been copied, will also actively investigate this complaint and also respond in a similar timely manner.

Thank you

Most sincerely,

Elder Advocates Of Alberta Society

Photographs are available.

cc.

The Honourable Janis Tarchuk, Minister of Child Services.
The Honourable Mr. Art Johnston MLA Chairman, Social Care Facilities Review Committee
The Honourable Mr. Greg Melchin, Minister of Seniors
The Honourable Mr Dave Hancock, Minister of Health

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Reponse from Capital Health – January 10, 2008

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Reponse from CARNA – January 10, 2008

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Second Letter – January 17, 2008

Dr. Kevin Lawless, Psychiatrist
Dr. Margaret Rourke, Psychiatrist
Barbara Fraser, Public Guardian Officer

Debbie Urquhart, Public Guardian Officer
Bob Mitchell, Public Guardian Officer
Karen Janz, Public Trustee Officer

BRAMEL HOMES
Darlene Bouclin RN Owner and Operator
15331 104 Ave.
Edmonton, AB T5P 0R7
Tel (780) 489-8184

We became aware of this group home because of a senior, who is a Resident of Bramel Homes whom we had assisted for many years. We sat with her dying husband at Lynwood Nursing home and helped to arrange the deceased husband’s funeral. Furthermore, we also had occasion to visit a former classmate’s husband at the home, who spent a month of respite at Bramel Homes which cost $2,600.

Your client lives in this home. She is a most fragile, sensitive, intelligent person, a retired American RN who took post graduate studies.

She had suffered depression and was a patient at Alberta Hospital. When she turned sixty five, she was moved to a geriatric ward and summarily declared incompetent, all her rights taken from her.

BRAMEL HOMES (Group Homes), falls under the jurisdiction of the Social Care Facilities Review Committee Act and the Ministries of the Honourable Janis Tarchuk, Minister of Child Services and the Honourable Mr. Art Johnston MLA Chairman, Social Care Facilities Review Committee.

No valid licenses posted at the Home on December 19, 2007.

Posted were two lapsed licenses for the Duplex.

There is only one worker at all times despite two licenses and a requirement for at least two staff.

One staff person for 8 senior residents.

One of the day staff workers is six months pregnant.

There are two wheel chair dependant persons.

One resident suffers advanced ALS, can no longer speak, requires tube feeding is mostly confined to her room.

One elderly person has severe congestive heart failure and fell to the floor. A resident had to become involved to help to pick her off the floor.

Two seniors live in basement rooms which have small windows. There is a gate at the basement entrance.

Fire safety has been disregarded by owner, Darlene Bouclin and government licensing inspectors. Basement windows are small, basement rooms should be condemned.

One worker could not evacuate these helpless, dependant persons in the event of a fire. Evacuation was not possible in the Capilano fire early this year when Marilyn Lane burned to death in the basement of the Independent Counselling Services group home.

It is troubling that Darlene Bouclin was and continues to be issued licences for this group home.

Staff persons are persons hired off the street.

Medications are administered by these untrained workers.

They must cook the meals, clean the facility, administer nursing care such as tube feeding to resident, give personal care such as dressing and bathing some of the residents and do the laundry.

Food is sometimes inadequate and inappropriate. i.e. two fried eggs which were somewhat raw and french fries composed a noon meal.

Mice are sometimes seen in the kitchen area.

No recreational activities are provided for residents only TV.

In November 2007, Alberta Health & Environment was called because the rooms were cold, Bouclin had turned down the heat. Cold rooms were also reported in February, 2007.

In February 2007 when a woman expressed to the Public Guardian Officer Debbie Urquhart, that she was cold, Urquhart instructed her to wear heavier clothing and thick soled shoes.

In November 2007, while attending at the home, Public Guardian Officer Barbara Fraser failed to address the matter of the low temperature though it was brought to her attention. Ninety seven year old Josephine Stankiewicz had added blankets on her bed to keep warm.

Your client lives in an 8′ x 10′ 4′ room and pays $2,600.00 per month and has to go down the hall for sink, toilet and shower. Her room and others require electric lighting during the daytime because they have no natural light (This would cause depression in many individuals especially persons who are being treated for depression.)

She has appealed by letter to Public Guardian Officer Barbara Fraser and Public Trustee Officer Karen Janz and verbally to Dr. Kevin Lawless, that the rent was excessive however no one has intervened on her behalf or even responded to her Correspondence.

Lawyer Gary Romanchuk, long time Chairman of the Dependant Adult Review Panel, who together with the government Review Panel carried out a Dependant Adult Review of your client at the Group Home on October 13, 2006, is fully aware of this home. On that occasion, he said that they charge the exorbitant amount for this humble accommodation, “because they can”. He did nothing to ameliorate the situation of your client and others at the home but he and his Panel recommended the continuation of the dependant adult status of your client (prisoner status, although prisoners have rights, dependant adults have few rights)

Persons were transferred from Alberta Hospital Edmonton to this home by Guardian Officer Debbie Urquhart, under the direction of Dr. Margaret Rourke. Those who had her sent there, had full knowledge of the home. Psychiatrist, Dr. Rourke noted that your client would have to dip into her savings in order to pay this excessive rent.

When objection was made concerning the quality of the accommodation and cost, the threat was made that they would be returned to Alberta Hospital and given the needle. This is a terrifying and very real threat, intimidation by needle.

Those of us who have received complaints and are familiar with Alberta Hospital protocol, know that if a patient in any way fails to be compliant, refuses to take medication perhaps because of serious side effects, he/she may be seized by nursing attendants and given a “needle in the a**”. We have been told many times of this terrifying process. These injections cause extreme distress, headache, unconsciousness, which may last for two to three days (See our website re. Bill 31, www.elderadvocates.ca).

In the last two years, your client has paid $65,000. to Darlene Bouclin for this accommodation. The Bath Schedule clearly indicates she is “self care”,(attached), does her own laundry, even cleans the bathroom sink for busy staff, sets the table and other chores. She buys a lot of her own food, fish and omega eggs.

All residents must purchase their medications and related supplies at the Primrose Pharmacy which is owned by the sister of the owner Darlene Bouclin.

Darlene Bouclin has Power of Attorney over a 97 year old resident. The resident Josephine Stankiewicz, said she had no choice but to sign over Power of Attorney when she was accepted into the home.

Upon admission, Darlene Bouclin immediately took this senior to her long time lawyer and confidant, Robert Christensen, and according to the senior, signed. over half of her significant estate. The senior was lead to believe that Robert Christiensen was not a lawyer when he prepared her papers.

Josephne has told us that Darlene Bouclin also holds Power of Attorney over other seniors. Darlene Bouclin has other holdings such as the George Hennig Assisted Living in Stony Plain, Alberta.

Darlene Bouclin spends hours visiting this lady behind a closed door. She drives her to appointments but does not provide this service to other residents. The Group Home is located three blocks from a bus stop. She has barred some persons from visiting Josephine Stankiewicz and has changed Josephine’s long time phone number.

Year round, Darlene Bouclin’s group home has plastic flowers on the front deck, however she provides a continuous supply of fresh cut flowers to this 97 year old lady’s room. The senior has said that she believes that it is probably her money that is paying for all the fresh cut flowers.

Much, much more could be said.

We request your response in regard to this matter. We would be grateful to be in receipt of a response by the 27th of January 2008. Thank you.

We are available to discuss this matter at anytime.

Furthermore, we anticipate that those to whom this complaint has been copied, will also actively investigate this matter and also respond in a similar timely manner. Thank you.

Yours truly,

Elder Advocates Of Alberta Society

HAND DELIVERED TO:
The Honourable Mr. Greg Melchin, Minister of Seniors
The Honourable Mr Dave Hancock, Minister of Health
The Honourable Mr. Ron Stevens, Minister of Justice
Ms. Sheila Weatherall RN, CEO, Capital Health Authority

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Response from Public Trustee – January 28, 2008

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Response from Public Guardian – January 30, 2008

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Third Letter – February 4, 2008

via Facsimile 780 453 0546, Letter to follow

Ms. Sue Chandler, Complaints Director
College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta
11620 168 Street, Edmonton, AB T5M 4A6

Complaint against Darlene Bouclin RN, owner and operator of
Bramel Homes
15331 104 Ave
Edmonton, AB T5P 0R7
Tel (780) 489-8184

It is now close to seven weeks since we made our first complaint concerning this matter to the College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA. To date no CARNA investigator has contacted us.

We received a letter from your office dated, January 7, 2007 which acknowledged our complaint. On the same date signs went up in the home, stating we were not allowed on the premises, signed by Darlene Bouclin.

The group home is a fire trap and some of the residents are being financially gouged (abused) by the owner of this home. At all times, there is inadequate staffing. Basement rooms are unsuitable for housing human beings. The group home was unlicensed at the time of our complaint, nevertheless, immediately subsequent to our complaint to you, the Social Care Facilities and licensing Act relicensed the home, signed by Judy Erickson.

Because of your failure to investigate, further complaints were made. It is deeply troubling to note that except for the fire department, there has been virtually no response in regard to this matter.

Yours truly,

Elder Advocates Of Alberta Society

Photographs are available

HAND DELIVERED TO:
The Honourable Mr. Greg Melchin, Minister of Seniors
The Honourable Mr Dave Hancock, Minister of Health
The Honourable Mr. Ron Stevens, Minister of Justice
Ms. Sheila Weatherall RN, CEO, Capital Health Authority
Mr. Art Johnston MLA Chair, Social Care Facilities Review Committee

Reponse from Deputy Minister – February 21, 2008

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Fourth letter – March 10, 2008

via Fax (780) 422-9138
Letter to follow

Public Guardian Edmonton Region
Seniors and Community Supports,
9942-108 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2J5

Attention: Ms. Shirley Peleshytk,

INVESTIGATION RE: THREAT MADE TO ALBERTA HOSPITAL RESIDENTS

In our correspondence of December 19, 2007, and further correspondence of January 17, 2008, copied to the Honourable Minister of Seniors, Mr. Greg Melchin, we made the following allegation:

“Persons were transferred from Alberta Hospital Edmonton to this home (Bramel Homes 15331 104 Avenue) by Public Guardian Officer Debbie Urquhart, under the direction of Dr. Margaret Rourke, Psychiatrist. Those who sent her there, had full knowledge of the home. When objection was made concerning the quality of the accommodation and cost, the threat was made that they would be returned to Alberta Hospital and given the needle. This is a terrifying and very real threat, ‘intimidation by needle'”.

It is indeed a serious allegation. Deputy Minister Tim Wiles has replied to our letter in correspondence dated February 21, 2008, stating that you have investigated this matter and found no evidence thereof. (attached)

Please inform us as to the protocol you carried out to make this alleged investigation and whom did you question concerning this matter.

Thank you. We shall be awaiting your reply and be grateful to be in receipt of such reply by the 18th March, 2008.

Yours truly,

Elder Advocates Of Alberta Society

Attached: Letter Mr. Time Wiles dated February 21, 2008

cc. Mr. Tim Wiles, Deputy Minister, Seniors and Community Supports

No reponse to date

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