Mar 15, 2013

By Jane Brown

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The Wexford Retirement Home tragedy could’ve been avoided according to CUPE.  “Absolutely 100% avoided and preventable without question,” says Candace Rennick, CUPE Ontario’s secretary-treasurer.  Rennick was also a front line long term care worker for 17 years.  She tells Zoomer Media News, there was simply not enough staff on duty to prevent the death of a 72 year old woman and the assault of another resident.  “Literally in the night time you’re talking between 25, and in some cases, 35 residents per one staff person.”  She says the Canadian Union of Public Employees is calling on a  legislative change to prevent future tragedies.  “CUPE’s calling on the government to introduce a guaranteed legislative staffing standard of a minimum of 3.5 hours per resident per day.”

Several residents at the Wexford Retirement Home also complain of understaffing.  Wexford’s CEO Sandy Bassett has issued a short statement mentioning only a tragic incident at the home and full cooperation with the police and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care in the investigation.”  Health Minister Deb Matthews calls the murder a “disturbing incident” and says if there’s anything that can be learned, she will be committed to taking action.  A 72 year old male resident of the facility has been charged with second degree murder and aggravated assault.

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