Summerland senior's death sparks call for autopsy

The family of an Okanagan senior who was left unattended for several days at a seniors care facility is calling for an autopsy to investigate his recent death.

Alfredo Bonaldi, 91, was found in grave condition in his bed in his independent/assisted living suite at the Summerland Seniors Village about two weeks ago.

His family says staff had failed to check on him after he failed to turn up for meals for several days and were unaware he was seriously ill. His situation was finally discovered when a visiting family member found him sick in bed.

He was rushed to hospital in Penticton suffering from renal failure, a staph infection, blood poisoning and possibly salmonella. His daughter Edi Inglis says he was barely hanging on and died on Friday.

"We're not sure if it could be the salmonella, or I imagine too, the fact of being left for four nights and three days I don't think it helped the situation any."

Now his family is looking for answers and an autopsy to determine what caused his death.

"When somebody doesn't show up for lunch and supper for three full days, I think they should have looked him up. They should have gone looking for him if they cared," said Inglis.

Last week, the Ministry of Health sent an inspector to the facility. The Interior Health Authority is also investigating as is the company that runs the home, Retirement Concepts.

It is not the first time the Summerland Senior Village has been under investigation.

In August, Bonaldi's wife died after she broke her femur at the same facility when staff moved her for a bath. The broken femur went undiagnosed for seven days before she was taken to for X-rays.

Doctors ordered immediate surgery, saying the broken bone could not be left as it was. Maria Luisa Bonaldi didn't recover from that surgery and died just days later.

A care home spokesperson admits staff didn't follow procedures with Alfredo Bonaldi, but management is still investigating what happened to his wife.

In 2008 the company confirmed that one employee at the care home was fired and two others resigned after taking and distributing nude photographs of seniors in their care.

The Interior Health Authority also confirmed it found five cases of abuse or neglect against seniors at the Summerland Seniors Village in 2006.

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