Caregiver asks resident: 'Why is it taking you so long to die?'

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A camera in a resident's room at an Ottawa nursing home caught a support worker verbally abusing a resident, including asking “Why is it taking you so long to die?,” according to local reports.

The same worker was on camera at Peter D. Clark Home was heard using the word ‘bitch,' the resident's daughter said. At another point the employee was seen saying “go bye-bye” to the resident. The incidents occurred in late August and early September.

The resident has dementia and is non-verbal.

In a Thursday memo sent to members of the Ottawa City Council and shared with McKnight's, Janice Burelle, General Manager, Community & Social Services, said the language in the video was “disturbing and offensive” and that immediate action was taken to terminate the employee.

Additionally “two other employees who witnessed the verbal abuse, but did not report it as required, have also been terminated,” she wrote. “Employees in the video made comments about another employee not providing medication; this employee is also under investigation.”

The city, which runs Peter D. Clark along with three other public long-term care facilities, is continuing to investigate.

“Any incident of abuse, verbal or otherwise, is completely unacceptable and at odds with our stated mission and our commitment to the health, well-being and safety of our residents. As reported to the Community and Protective Services Committee, significant efforts are underway to consult with residents, families and volunteers to ensure the City delivers the highest quality of care for residents,” Burelle wrote, adding that she was “deeply saddened” by the incident.

The daughter of the resident told Ottawa Citizen she installed the camera last year at the home after staff limited her visits under a “no-trespass order.” The daughter, a former nurse, said they issued the order after she complained about issues such as infection control.