Why Don’t You Trust Me?

**This featured case is one example of the concerns people have brought to us. Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved.

Adriane* contacted us because she was not satisfied with the visitation arrangements with her husband, Arthur. Arthur was an 83-year old veteran living in a health region’s long-term care facility. Adriane told us she was only allowed to visit him with a security guard present. She said that the facility claimed she treated their staff and her husband badly, but it was not true and was not proven. She also said that a staff member had told her to shut up, but no one would believe her.

Shortly after her call, Adriane began working with the health region’s Client Representative who arranged meetings and helped her sort out her concerns with the facility. A few months later, Adriane was still dissatisfied and upset and contacted our office.

We decided to investigate the matter, and shortly after we began, Arthur died. We chose to continue the investigation to provide some closure for Adriane and because she was now concerned about other residents.

The investigation found that the facility deemed Adriane a safety risk to Arthur and other residents and staff. From the time Adriane had first contacted our office, the facility had arranged a series of meetings between Adriane, her children and the Client Representative. The meetings included discussion of Adriane’s behaviour and the behaviour of the staff towards her. They had been able to work out an arrangement that addressed staff concerns about the safety of her husband and other residents, and Adriane’s own wish for some private time with her husband. Adriane’s children were in agreement with the revised schedule and believed the issues were resolved, even though Adriane was not completely satisfied.

To help prevent other misunderstandings with families, patients and staff, the facility also produced two brochures. These explained where families of residents could take concerns about care, visitation, or interaction with staff. The brochures were intended to promote respect among staff and families, as well as an awareness of the recourse available if concerns arise. We saw this as a positive step to address future issues and we closed the file as “situation improved.”

*Names have been changed to protect identity.