(Record file photo)

(Record file photo)

Administrator to oversee B.C. seniors’ home in wake of allegations of abuse, neglect

Island Health reports dozens of violations and delays at Comox Valley Seniors Village

A temporary administrator has been appointed to oversee a seniors’ home on Vancouver Island after a number of violations were found to have been committed, including disease outbreak and neglect.

The Island Health Authority said Monday that “numerous” routine and complaint-based inspections were conducted at the 136-bed Comox Valley Seniors Village in Courtenay, and “wide-ranging and stringent” restrictions were placed on its license in June.

But three months later, officials still found an “unacceptable” number of violations of the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, and too long of a delay to address them.

“Due to the operator’s inability to meet the care expectations outlined in legislation, the board of directors has taken the extraordinary action to appoint an administrator to manage the facility,” said board of directors chair Leah Hollins in a news release.

Susan Abermann, a past leader of Island Health’s residential care services and executive director of another facility with the same owner as Comox Valley Seniors Village, will serve as administrator for six months.

The care home is owned by Retirement Concepts, which was sold to a Chinese company, Anbang Insurance Group, in 2017. The Chinese government took control of Anbang’s assets in February 2018.

READ MORE: Founder of Chinese company behind 21 B.C. seniors’ homes gets 18 years for fraud

The authority’s medical health officer, Dr. Charmaine Enns, filed a report outlining 45 inspections and investigations conducted from March 1 to Aug. 23 of this year – an amount she called “exceptional.”

All but five of the 35 of the completed examinations identified violations, while 10 others remain in progress, related to disease outbreak, physical and emotional abuse, neglect, insufficient staffing, improper record-keeping, and aggression between residents.

RELATED: Province taking over seniors’ home care in southern B.C.

“This represents a widespread, systemic failure on the part of the licensee that will not be remedied by isolated responses to single contraventions,” Enns wrote.

“There are reasonable grounds to believe that currently there is a risk to the health and safety of persons in care at the facility.”

Don Broten, 85, has mixed dementia and has lived at the home for more than three years. In July, he nearly died after an outbreak of parainfluenza wasn’t recognized until the last minute.

“The system does work. It works long and slow and painfully, but it does in the end work,” said his wife, Delores, who started a letter-writing campaign to draw attention to problems.

“If they manage to keep the improvements that we’re looking for, there’s no reason for him not to live a lot longer.”

Anyone with concerns about conditions at a care facility should keep records and report them, she said.

“[The problems were] much bigger and more broken than we realized.”

KEEP READING: B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Johann Oriana and Neo Moren paint a Yoshi head on June 11 at Salmon Arm Secondary’s Sullivan campus. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm Secondary grads create with parking lot canvas

Students paint the parking lot June 11, leaving their mark on the school

Canadian blues sensation Colin James will close down Saturday night, Aug. 14 of the 2021 digital Salmon Arm Roots Blues Festival. (Black Press Media file photo)
Salmon Arm’s Roots & Blues branches out for second online festival

Nine acts, including Colin James, Caleigh Cardinal, to perform on festival’s website Aug. 13 and 14.

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
Donors who gave $1M to Central Okanagan grads want to send positive message

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

An Armstrong family that lost their home to a fire on Wednesday still hasn’t found their cat as of Friday, June 18, 2021. (Facebook photo)
Family cat still missing, days after fire destroys Armstrong home

There were no injuries from Wednesday’s blaze, but two days later there’s still no sign of the white feline

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Seth Rogen’s vibrant orange sculpture was sold for $7,000 above Vancouver Art Gallery’s initial estimation at auction Tuesday. June 15. (Heffel Fine Arts)
Vase made by Seth Rogen sells for $12,000 at Vancouver auction

The B.C.-born comedian has a new pot habit and it’s paying off

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Most Read