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Dozens of violations found at Summerland senior’s home

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In the last couple of years about a dozen complaints were filed and many more infractions found by Interior Health at the Summerland Seniors Village.

Inspection reports that are available on the Interior Health web page show 11 instances where complaints were filed and substantiated by inspectors.

Many have to do with staff shortages but, it’s the consequences of those shortages that may have an impact on residents.

For example, a Sept. 2, 2018 complaint was investigated on Sept. 21, 2018 and stated “staffing levels/difficulties continue to impact the care of persons in care; particularly medication administration in this case.”

While that refers to a specific complaint, there were three other citations in that report saying the operator was “not in compliance” with Residential Care Regulations.

“Upon review of the documentation provided by the Manager and Director of Care, it has been confirmed that some persons in care did not receive medication according to their care plans; it was either administered late or not administered at all,” states another part of the report.

A third citation said the systems put in place to audit and self-monitor “remain ineffective,” and the fourth talked about medication errors not being reported properly.

It’s a similar case with all the other complaints – while the complaint itself was substantiated, other examples of not being in compliance with regulations were also listed.

Other problems noted since September 2018 had to do with frequency of baths, an employee taking residents off-site without having a current first aid/CPR certificate, one case of leaving patients in bed until 12:30 p.m. and giving them “Boost” drinks in their rooms rather than taking them to the dining room.

There was also a case of there being no record of one patient being given their medicine for three consecutive days, the authorities not being notified of “aggressive or unusual behaviours” and restraint records being incomplete.

The most recent complaint was made Oct. 11, 2019 and the inspection report was filed Dec. 13. It was about care plans not being reviewed once a year.

But a routine follow-up investigation dated Dec. 18, 2019 refers to the “person in care or their representative” not consenting to a restraint care plan and an employee not meeting “employment requirements.”

“The complaints Interior Health received about Summerland Seniors Village have largely been administrative issues resulting from site leadership turnover,” Courtney Zimmerman, corporate director for environmental public health and licensing with Interior Health, said in an email following a request from for an interview.

“New leadership has been in place since the fall of 2019 to ensure the organization meets its administrative requirements. I can confirm that all but one of these complaints has been addressed and closed.”

Summerland Seniors Village is owned by Retirement Concepts, the largest owner of private care homes in B.C. with 20, including three in the Interior Health region.

One is Kamloops Retirement Village.

The Interior Health web site doesn’t show any complaints filed there but routine inspections have turned up some items of non-compliance.

The most recent inspection on file was in May 2019 and shows some concerns about a transportation plan not being in place in the event of a community evacuation, inconsistencies in record keeping and staff purses and backpacks – which could contain hazardous materials -  being in an unlocked area.

The other is Williams Lake Retirement Village. It’s had two routine inspections under the new ownership. The first one, in November 2018, had one compliance concern about the head cook but that was not flagged in its November 2019 inspection that showed no violations.

Retirement Concepts was bought by Anbang, a Chinese company, in February 2017 and taken over by the Chinese government in February 2018 after allegations of fraud by its president. Anbang has now been renamed Dajia Insurance.

Three of its homes on Vancouver Island had administrators put in place by Island Health in the past few months. Those homes, along with Summerland, are managed by West Coast Seniors Housing Management

“The number one priority for West Coast . . . is ensuring residents get the care they need and deserve,” Jennie Deneka, COO and Partner of West Coast, said in an email to in response to an interview request.

“Unfortunately, the entire seniors care sector is currently experiencing a labour shortage which is having an impact on all service providers and the ability to meet all license requirements at all times. In response to these challenges, we have adjusted staffing levels to match current resident care demands, we have reviewed our education and training needs in the Interior and hired an educator.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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