Family demands answers after mother injured at care home

Oscar Akouri's 94-year-old paralyzed mother sustained deep cuts to her face and forehead after her Victoria care home, Glenwarren Lodge, claims she fell from her bed.

A family is searching for answers after their elderly mother was badly injured at a long-term care facility on Vancouver Island.

Seven years ago, Oscar Akouri's now 94-year-old mother suffered a stroke that left her with extremely limited movement. He has had to pay for her care at Victoria's Glenwarren Lodge and has visited her there every day since.

On Jan. 4, Akouri received a call from the care home informing him that his mother had fallen and had been admitted to hospital.

"We receive a call from the facility: 'Your mom fell from the bed and she's okay. She's conscious,'" Akouri tells CBC News.

Akouri and his brother rushed to the hospital and found his mother badly injured, with cuts and scrapes on her face and forehead.

She was soon released and returned to the care home. That's when Akouri began to ask questions about what happened.

"What they told us is she fell from the bed. They found her beside her bed and they went there to help her," says Akouri.

Akouri says this explanation does not make sense, since his mother's condition means she cannot move — or fall — on her own. Instead, he believes she was accidentally dropped or pushed.

He took his concerns to the Victoria Police Department, which investigated but is not looking into the matter any further.

Akouri says that's not good enough.

"Somebody's responsible. The accident happened. Somebody has to give the answers. When something like this happens we have to investigate, but there's no investigation."

CBC News has contacted Revera, the company that owns the care home. It says it has apologized to the family, but insists the incident was nothing more than an accident.

"When the incident occurred, we took immediate action to care for the resident and notified the family right away. We conducted a thorough investigation and determined that this was an unfortunate accident," said Revera in a statement.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority told CBC News on Thursday that it has been in touch with the family and is now undertaking a review of the incident.

VIHA spokesperson Sarah Plan says anyone with concerns about patient care is invited to contact the health authority's Patient Care Quality Office.

B.C.'s seniors' population is expected to grow to 984,000 by 2020 and 1.5 million by 2036, putting pressure on public and private care services.

The province introduced legislation last year that would create Canada's first seniors' advocate, responsible for addressing issues facing the elderly.

But critics say progress has been slow and cases like Akouri's mother's highlight the urgent need.

Premier Christy Clark told CBC News in December she is disappointed with how long it has taken to appoint the seniors' advocate, but someone should be in place by spring 2014.

Are you concerned about the quality of senior's care in B.C.? If so, we want to hear from you. Leave us your story in the comments below.