Trent Nursing Placements at St. Joe’s to Continue Despite Elder Abuse Scandal


As investigation continues into a video caught on hidden camera, many questions remain unanswered regarding the abuse scandal from St. Josephs at Fleming in Peterborough, Ontario.

To recap, Camille Parent became frustrated when he continually noticed injuries on his mother, a resident with dementia, such as bruising which could not be explained. At one point, she suffered a broken hip. Staff at the facility would say they weren’t sure about the injuries.

Parent then placed the hidden video camera in his mother’s room.

His footage captured staff members forcibly changing his mother, blowing their nose on her sheets while making the bed and engaging in inappropriate relations in her room while she lay awake. The staff members seen in the video have since been fired and the police, as well as the Ministry of Health, are involved in an ongoing investigation.

In the mean time, the patient in question continues to reside at St. Joseph’s at Fleming.

Trent nursing students routinely complete placements at this facility. Arthur wanted to know if there were any repercussions in this regard.

Dean of Trent-Fleming School of Nursing, Kirsten Woodend confirmed without hesitation that placements of Trent students at St. Joseph’s at Fleming will continue.

She claims that no students were doing a placement in the unit at that time. She also notes that the department is concerned about this footage and the abuse of elders, but doesn’t foresee it interfering with Trent’s placement programs.

Beyond Trent, the Peterborough community has shown great concern over what the surfacing of this video footage could mean. If one resident was being treated this way, it’s difficult to believe she’s the only one.

Furthermore, there was hesitation before the staff involved were fired. And if every authority involved insists that this kind of behaviour and these incidents are unacceptable and a No-Tolerance policy exists, how did it happen in the first place?

For many, Camille Parent included, the routine “We will deal with this, it is serious, we are unhappy” line is not good enough. Parent feels that it is time for those in charge to step down, including CEO of the facility Alan Cavell, and for their replacements to bring more transparency and accountability to their positions.

Local news reports that the most recent inspection at St. Josephs happened on May 10. That report, having not yet been made public, allegedly outlined multiple cases where resident on resident abuse was not reported, as well as resident aggression towards staff going unreported.

There is also apparently reason to believe that St. Joseph’s has been told by the ministry to report incidents more accurately going back as far as 2012. CEO Alan Cavell says only that all ministry reports have been addressed, without elaborating as to how they’ve been addressed.

This case has ruffled feathers around the province, prompting concern and in some cases, other individuals to come forward with similar stories from other communities.

All officials who can be reached at St. Josephs at Fleming or in the Government insist that they are as shocked as everyone else and doing their best to properly fund these facilities or provide adequate care.

For many though, a sense of trust has been lost.

For now, it seems the conversation in Peterborough is dependent on the investigation which is happening. As per usual, those involved in the investigation cannot comment on it.

It will be with the results of the investigation that Peterborough’s concerned citizens get a true sense of what this case will mean in terms of long term impact on long term care.