A well-known patients' rights advocate says those who work with the elderly in long-term care facilities need better training.
Last week, two former workers at the CHSLD Saine-Lambert-sur-le-Golf on Tiffin Rd. were charged with abusing and drugging 87-year-old Louise Beaulieu, a patient who later died.
Beaulieu's family had placed hidden cameras in her room after they suspected she was being abused.
Prosecutors now say that the two ex-workers, Immacula Eugène and Mary Margaret Pétimé, are suspected of mistreating at least five people, including Beaulieu. They now face a variety of charges including assault, theft, drug trafficking, and administering a noxious substance.
Paul Brunet with the Conseil pour la Protection des Malades, says that while cases of abuse are very rare, the system needs to make sure whoever they hire has the training and the patience necessary to work with the elderly.
"They train personnel for the surveillance at Granby Zoo more than we train some of our orderlies in private premises," Brunet says. "Elderly people are as vulnerable and dependent as children, so why aren't these people checked before they're hired?"
He also says family members should speak with management at the home if they suspect their loved ones are being mistreated, because that's how the overwhelming majority of abuse suspicions get resolved.
Pétimé is out on $12,000 bail, and is not allowed to work with the elderly.
Eugène, meanwhile, is being held until she completes a month-long psychiatric evaluation at the Pinel institute.