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Slave Lake , Points West Elder Care

Home > Abuse & Neglect Studies Dependent Adult Abuse Letters & Reports > Slave Lake , Points West Elder Care

May 01,2020

The untold undignified stories of our Seniors Care Centre Points West
in Slave Lake, Alberta.

I had my first experience with Points West in Slave Lake with a family of an
elder going into care with dementia, I would visit this senior at least four
plus times a week.

As I visited this Care Centre I started to notice the lack of support for the one
worker who was doing all the work by herself looking after 12 seniors with medium
to high level of dementia
and also the violence of some of the seniors who had full
access to other seniors, even after complaints from other seniors about the violence.


I was given a pass code to access to the ward and many times I would be there for
over an hour before I saw a caretaker or anyone working in the ward. The seniors
seem to be pretty much on their own for long periods of time.

The longer I visited this senior I got quite close to an number of Indigenous &
Non-Indigenous seniors, I speak a bit of Cree and was able to communicate with our
seniors who were all unhappy to be there, everyday they asked me to take them home.
Some did remember where they had lived and were lonesome.


I saw the food they were given and was shocked at the type of foods these seniors
were fed. One weekly meal that I saw was Friday they called Pub Night deep fried
food that was dried out and hard
if a senior did not eat it did not seem to be a
I started to bring stew and bannock to the seniors. A few times I would
gather other seniors from different wards to come join us, I had to do this myself
was there was no-one to help me.


The neglect of the senior’s personal hygiene was terrible, some did not get to shower
for days even weeks
. There was the extra cost of $75.00 per month to do their laundry
as if the price of $2200.00 per month was not enough.

I saw a senior who had fallen off his bed he laid there calling for help no-one came to
help him I looked for the Care giver and couldn’t find her I went to his room to let
him know that I was trying to find someone ,this senior had blood on his face and head.
He was taken to the hospital. When I walked a senior, who was living there to her room
the smell coming out of some of the rooms was horrible, the smell of urine and feces
was so strong. This was so hard to take,

I questioned if they had a person who cleaned rooms and was not given an answer.
The seniors living in these rooms looked so sad, lonely, shame and totally defeated.
I asked a senior how he was doing he said I want to go home please, he said this in
Cree when I answered him he looked up and said I am sorry,
I told him not to be that
it was not his fault. The rooms are not cleaned for days or even weeks at a time.
I saw a female senior trying to hit another one, because she did not like her. She
also would go around and throw other things; for example seniors were doing a puzzle
(a number of times we worked on a puzzle) and she would come and break it up or try
to hit the seniors I was working with.


I would encourage the seniors to speak Cree during our visits, they would whisper
so the worker could not hear them as they were afraid to get caught speaking their
I brought fruit, snacks and bannock for the seniors; we had a great time together
but many sad ones also as they wanted to go home.

There are not any pictures or any type of art dissipating our Indigenous culture
even though 80% were Indigenous.
Most of these seniors have been in Residential School, their historical trauma is
huge from rape, starvation, forced isolation, loss of family and culture. I have
worked with Indigenous seniors for many years and appalled by this total lack of
human compassion showed to the very people who paid them huge amount of money.
I never had thought this could happen in my own home community.


Where is the justice for our Seniors in Care?
I have made many attempts at putting down my feeling and thoughts regarding
the high level of neglect and care that are shown to our Indigenous and
Non-Indigenous Seniors. This hurts my heart so bad to see that companies can
put the care of a senior second to their profits. How much longer should our
seniors suffer before we react. I also suffered many months before reporting
this because I did not want our seniors to suffer even more. We need to take
better care of our seniors, please stop the suffering for Seniors in Care.

Barb Courtorielle
Executive Director
Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre