A woman died in a house; His family was informed a month later

Mrs. Barker, 66, died Feb. 12 Mount Hope Center for long-term care London (Mount Hope Center for Long-Term Care), where he lived for about ten years. According to family members, London police arrived at the former residence of one of Mrs Barker’s children about 3.5 weeks later to report her death.

That should not have happened. It makes me terribly angry that he died alone and the corpse has been sitting in the morgue for a month. Nothing supports thisMrs. Barker’s sister, Donna Barker, of Havelock, Onte, said from her home.

According to Mrs. Barker’s record of long-term care, given to CBC by the family, Miss Barker’s condition deteriorated sharply on February 9 because she had shortness of breath during lunch. He died on February 12, but the family says they were not notified until March 8.

A spokesman for the Health Network St. Joseph Health Care LondonWho supervises Mount Hope Center for long-term careHe said he could not comment on matters relating to specific residents because of the Privacy Act, but that the health network was following all appropriate procedures after the death of a resident.

In this case, Mrs. Barker’s alternative decision-maker was the Ontario Public Guardian and the Office of the Trustee, which represents her will and best interests under the Health Care Consent Act (HCCA). Due to confidentiality rules, a bureau spokesman said he could not be reached for comment.

However, the office has also acted as Miss Barker’s estate guardian since May 2010, making financial decisions in her favor, as it does for about 4,550 Ontarians whose family members are unable to cope with these problems.

In a written response, a spokesman for the Ontario Ministry of Attorney General said the Public Guardian and the Office of the Trustee Makes reasonable efforts to find family In his role as guardian of the property but he was not forced to look for family members.

Lack of contact details

However, long-term care experts say the care home and public guardian and trustee office files should have contained information about the family.

Toronto lawyer Jane Medas, a long-term care specialist, said it was the home’s responsibility to keep family members in touch and inform them of Mrs. Barker’s death.

Must have a fireplace [informer la famille du décès de Mme Barker]Mr. Midas said. There is an obligation to communicate with the family at home.

Records of Mrs. Barker’s long-term care revealed that a social worker had already mentioned in her file in September that no pre-arranged funeral had taken place and that there were no contact details for the family.

Residents’ health has deteriorated and no funeral arrangements have been madePoint notes. If necessary continue to try to contact the family to find a funeral home for the resident.

On February 11, the day before Mrs. Barker died, a social worker wrote that a Extensive search The family has been managed. According to records, the house had to be vacated because staff were unable to communicate with relatives Follow the policy for unclaimed residents at the time of death.

Mrs. Barker’s admission sheet contains the names of two family members. A telephone number has been provided for one of them and the file indicates that the staff had contact details of another family member. Documents relating to Mrs. Barker’s long-term care indicate that the staff was previously Phone calls were made to these numbers, which were no longer in service.

Family members wonder if the staff really put in the effort.

How much did they actually try? Donna Barker said. How hard is it to go to Facebook or even Google? We can find someone if we really try.

Donna Barker, 63, wants to know why her family was not notified a month after her sister’s death.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Joe Fiorino / CBC

About a month after Mrs. Barker’s death, and as part of the activities of the unidentified body of a relative, when the care home staff called the police, a family member at an old address was thanked. File. A Home Office spokesman did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Donna Barker doesn’t have a car. When health restrictions were relaxed, he planned to visit his sister when he learned of her death. He said that if he had known that his sister was dying, he would have found a way to travel to London with her for the rest of his life.

She should have known that she was loved and not abandonedHe said.

It made me really, really angry that there was no contact because I gave them my numberSaid Donna Barker. I even saw the woman write it in her file.


Mrs. Barker’s life has been marked by trauma and struggle, according to her sister.

We were very abused as childrenSaid Donna Barker. Physically, mentally, sexually. […] And Melania suffered the most because she was withdrawing from herself.

She thinks her sister is smart and beautiful.

Mrs. Barker was married at the age of 17 and had three children. She and her husband divorced in 1994, and Miss Barker enrolled at Western University in London, Ontario, where she earned a degree in sociology. She had two more children during the second relationship.

When that relationship ended, according to her sister, she had a mental health crisis and a physical illness ended in the benefit of a mental care before she was forced into long-term care.

Tour in December

Shelley Silverthoren, Melanie Barker’s eldest daughter, has mixed memories of growing up in Gravenhurst, Ontario. He says his mother verbally and physically abused him but also took him to Toronto to watch musical instruments.

Shelley Silverthoren says she wants the house to call her.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Joe Fiorino / CBC

He was really, really righteousMrs. Silverthoren, who remembers her mother playing Christian music at home on Sundays, said.

I think he was just trying to figure out something to hold on to, something he could believe, to explain why his dad did it to him, and I think that was the process of his adaptation.

Mrs. Silverthoren has her own struggles with addiction and law. He estimates that the last time he visited his mother was in 2016.

It was hard for me to calm down. That’s why I didn’t go to see my mother. I was not in a position to take care of myselfHe said.

Mrs Silverthoren claims she called the care home in December 2021 to check on her mother and gave her her phone number.

Mrs. Silverthoren’s name and phone number are on her mother’s long-term care papers, but there is no mention of her relationship.

Mrs Silverthoren said her phone number was still in service and that her mother had died. He added that he did not receive a call from the long-term care home.

I think he hopes we all stayed with himWhat did he say? She may not have been the best mom we’ve ever had, but she loved us.

Underfunding involved?

In consultation with CBC, long-term care and palliative care experts question whether the Home and Office of the Public Guardian and the trustee have exercised due diligence in keeping records of family contact.

It is a series of errorsDirector of Geriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Samir Sinha says. Barker].”,”text”:”Ce qui me sidère, c’est que des efforts ont été faits. Il y avait des informations [dans le dossier de MmeBarker].”}}”>What amazes me is the effort. There was information [dans le dossier de Mme Barker].

Dr. Sameer Sinha wonders if the house staff has worked hard enough.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Yanjun Lee / CBC

Dr. described the situation. Sinha Dr. Procedure In his own practice. He said his team members searched the family, searched property and contacted anyone listed on the medical record, including a pharmacist. He added that his team was asking questions of people living at the last known address of relatives.

Dr Sinha said it was unfortunate that Mrs Barker’s family members had not had a chance to say goodbye.

He added that long-term care system funding and low staffing probably played a role.

Unfortunately, I have a feeling there are probably too many people [qui ont vécu la même situation que] Melania Barker.

Policy and procedure review

A spokesman for the Health Network St. Joseph Health Care London It is noted that the family contact information in a resident file is updated as needed and if the facility becomes aware of incorrect information, it asks the dependent or the resident to provide updated information.

In the event of a significant change in the medical condition of a resident with a serious illness, dependent or alternative decision makers are notified.

A 2017 memo from Ontario Chief Coroner Dark Huer, which advises on unclaimed corpses in long-term care homes, says that it depends on the benefit where the person dies after relative identification and, ideally, nursing home management should be maintained- to-date patient And residential records. The coroner’s office confirmed it was still there.

The memo saysIt is important to facilitate speedy and dignified treatment of the remains of the deceased And while finding relatives is not a priority, The condition of the body may worsen in a few weeks or months.

For its part, a spokesman for the Ministry of Long-Term Care said it does not keep statistics on cases where families are not notified of immediate deaths but tracks non-compliance where a nursing home fails to notify alternative decision makers. Or another person nominated by a resident with a serious injury or serious illness. He said one such incident has occurred in Ontario in the last five years.

It further said, the Ministry Investigate or inspect after receiving a complaint from a family member who has not been notified of a resident’s death if they have been nominated to receive such information..

With information from Katie Nicholson, CBC

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