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Summerland seniors’ home ordered to improve oversight

Less than two months after a 91-year-old man died at a seniors' home after being left alone for days in his room, health officials are ordering changes.

Three reviews of Summerland Seniors Village have been conducted since Aflredo Bonaldi died in hospital on Dec. 7. A family member had found him in his room at the facility on Nov. 25 suffering from several ailments. Staff had not checked on Mr. Bonaldi in four days, despite him missing every meal over that same period.

In response, the Interior Health Authority has given Summerland a deadline to increase staffing, improve nursing oversight and support for staff, and make less use of restraints, amongst other changes. The facility will also remain under third-party oversight until those improvements are in place.

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"Interior Health's number one priority is the safety and quality of care delivered to seniors in care," Karen Bloemink, Interior Health's regional director of residential services, said in a release. "We have taken complaints about this facility very seriously, which is why we conducted our quality reviews and continue to maintain a presence at this site."

This is not the first time the Summerland seniors' home has come under scrutiny.

In 2006, three staff members resigned after explicit photos of residents were taken with cell phones and circulated. Later that year, a care aide worker was dismissed for rough treatment of residents.

In 2007, an employee pleaded guilty to stealing and using residents' credit cards.

Interior Health said it will continue to monitor Summerland's parent company, Retirement Concepts, as well. The company operates 15 seniors' homes in B.C., from Williams Lake to Vancouver Island, as well as one facility in Montreal.

With a report from The Canadian Press

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