Quebec nurses say seniors in long-term care suffer abuse

A report by the Quebec Order of Nurses says elderly patients are suffering abuse and neglect at both private and provincial long-term care facilities in the province.

The abuse is both physical and verbal, says the report. Nor are patients treated with respect. For example, the QON says female patients have little privacy and can’t get a woman orderly to help them. The nurses allege it is common practice in long-term facilities to strap patients to their beds or chairs or drug them into sedation. They say this treatment is the result of a lack of nurses to properly care for the elderly. At night, one nurse may be required to look after 200 patients, according to the report. CBC News says the nursing organization gathered information for the explosive charges in spot checks carried out at 49 hospitals and 38 senior residences in Quebec. The checks were done between 1995 and 1999.

The QON appeared before the Quebec Human Rights Commission on Wednesday. A panel is hearing from three dozen organizations this week and next in public hearings into elder abuse.

Supporters for rights for the elderly are pressing Quebec Minister of Health, Pauline Marois, to spend more money on ebec’s nursing homes. There are 143 nursing homes in the province.