"Why are family members being banned from visiting their relatives in nursing homes?"

Huguette Hebert was banned for a day from seeing her husband at a continuing care facility after she asked to stay in the room while he was changed to see if he had bedsores. (CBC)  Listen

Families of seniors in some care homes in Alberta have been banned from seeing their loved ones and say - short of going to court - which some are now doing, there is no way to appeal decisions made by staff at those homes.

Huguette Hebert visited her husband in an Alberta nursing home and asked to watch while his diaper was changed. She was concerned about bedsores. Not only was she told she couldn't watch -- she was made to leave. Here's how she describes that day:


In Alberta, senior care centres can ban family members if they feel there is a threat to their staff or patients. That power can have a devastating impact on families.

Shauna McHarg has not seen her father since 2012.  And she's restricted to visiting her mother for just an hour a day, on week days only.  Both  her parents live in the Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre run by Covenant Health in Edmonton. We reached Shauna McHarg earlier in Edmonton.

Late in the day, we reached Convenant Health's president and CEO R Patrick Dumelie. He told us they have - quote - "provided reasons for the visitation conditions" to Ms. McHarg. Shauna McHarg says she is waiting for a judge's ruling regarding her having access to documents that would show why she is banned from seeing her father.

Covenant Health is not the only health care provider to ban family members. And since the cases we're hearing went public, other family members have come forward to say they're facing similar restrictions.

Bill Moore-Kilgannon has taken up the cases of Shauna McHarg and Huguette Hebert and others like them.He is executive director of Public Interest Alberta. The group is campaigning to change the laws surrounding conflicts between family members and seniors' care centres in Alberta. Bill Moore-Kilgannon was in Edmonton

People with loved ones in Long Term Care Facilities know how emotional and stressful it can be.  Making decisions on behalf of an aging parent  takes a toll.  Sholom Glouberman is the Philosopher in Residence at Baycrest Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, an organization specializing in aging care. He's also the President of Patients' Canada and the author of "Keepers: inside stories from total institutions" He joins me in our Toronto studio.

If you have a family member in a care home, and you've experienced some of the conflicts we're hearing about, let us know

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by CBC's Gillian Rutherford and Michael O'Halloran.

Related Links

(Source : http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2014/03/11/why-are-family-members-being-banned-from-visiting-their-relatives-in-nursing-homes/)

You must be logged in to comment due to spam issues.