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Visitation, recreation refused at Villa Caritas

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Letter

December 21, 2011

Dr. Michael Buchinski, Psychiatrist,

Clinical Director Geriatrics, Villa Caritas,
Geriatric Mental Health Unit,
16515 88 Avenue,
Edmonton, AB T5R 0A4

Dear Dr. Buchinski

G.P., detained Unit 2 A, Villa Caritas Geriatric Mental Health Unit – detained since 2009

Please be advised that your staff have been isolating Ms. P, disallowing her to attend recreation activities.

Today the Captain of the Oilers was present in the lower reception area and apparently was signing autographs for those who wished. There was also a person who entertained on the piano and snacks and refreshments were served. Most of the ward staff were absent from the ward attending this exciting and fortuitous occasion, except Ms. P. G.P. was denied to attend. Why? Charge nurse, Levi LPN, was aware.

Please also know that we find it most troubling that you are detaining her on a most unsavoury, unclean Ward with persons who are incontinent, some incontinent of bowel movement. Often the furniture is soiled or moist (urine), some of the male patients spit, and generally have filthy habits.

You strongly stated to the Mental Health Review Panel Chairman, on December 13/11, that Ms. P suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. You also strongly stated that she could not be discharged because of her issues with cleanliness. However, you subject her to this nightmarish world.

Furthermore, since April 1, 2011, Dr. Candace Walker and you, have disallowed her to close her door 24/7. She has not been allowed ANY privacy. Until October, she was not even allowed to close her door when dressing or undressing. Once Ridwan Musa RPN, came to her door way and instructed her to make herself decent. Then, perhaps because we were involved she has been allowed 10 minutes or so when she is dressing or undressing.

She also began to assert herself and refused to get out of bed unless the door was closed while she dressed, even if it meant staying in bed the entire day or longer.

Having her door open at all times, allows cognitively impaired, soiled individuals to come into her room and even onto her bed, which she cannot tolerate. Yet you and your staff have done nothing to ameliorate this situation or protect her.

She is a kind, gentle and very intelligent human being, who has endured with dignity.

Respectfully submitted, we would be grateful to be in receipt of your response in regard to this matter by the 31st of December 2011.

Elder Advocates of Alberta Society

cc.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Mr. Fred Horne

Letter

December 24, 2011

Dr. Michael Buchinski, Psychiatrist,

Clinical Director Geriatrics, Villa Caritas,

Geriatric Mental Health Unit, 16515 88 Avenue,

Edmonton, AB T5R 0A4

Dear Dr. Buchinski

G. P., detained Unit 2 A, Villa Caritas Geriatric Mental Health Unit – detained since 2009

Thursday 8:00AM we had sent the required fax requesting permission regarding our one hour allowed visit for 10:30 AM Friday (yesterday).

Yesterday when you and RN Laurie met us at the entrance of Unit 2 A saying you had left two phone messages stating that we could not visit because you had insufficient staff to provide a guard for our visit, that was not true.

  1. No messages had been left. Our phones are kept in good working order.
  2. You had instructed us to come back at 1:00 PM. When we came, Gale Tricker, Patient Care Manager and a ward nurse visited G. a number of times in order to wake her up. She was ‘zonked’ out. Had she been given drugs without her knowledge as cited the recent Mental Health Review Panel Hearing? At the Hearing, it was stated that it was documented that she had been drugged a number of times without her knowledge.
  3. Friday, she once again missed the 1:00 PM Carol sing and refreshments, a recreation activity which took place in the lower area of Villa Caritas.

Was this entire exercise deliberate to further isolate and abuse her?

Yours truly,

Elder Advocates of Alberta Society

cc.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Mr. Fred Horne

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