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A 74-year-old man has been charged in the death of a 94-year-old woman in southwestern Ontario

The Advocate Files: Nursing Home Violence | Workplace Violence

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. — A 74-year-old man has been charged in the death of a 94-year-old woman in a shocking case of nursing home violence in southwestern Ontario.

Niagara Regional police say the victim, Verna Traina, was assaulted at a care facility in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Aug. 9.

She was taken to a local hospital but died of her injuries on Aug. 20.

Police say they charged another resident of the long-term care home after consulting with the Crown attorney.

Robert Stroeh has been charged with manslaughter.

Police say he was released on bail and is scheduled to return to a court in St. Catharines, Ont., on Nov. 26.

In an interview with Toronto workplace violence and elder abuse consultant Denise Koster, she says the incident is “a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities of residents living in long-term care.”

Koster, principal of Koster Consulting Associates, says these types of resident-to-resident assaults are often the result of placing someone with “violent or physically responsive behaviours” in a facility that may not be equipped to deal with them.

“They’re not only a danger to other residents,” she says. “Staff members, who are mandated to provide care to these same individuals, are also being assaulted at an alarming rate.”

Koster says one of the biggest challenges facing these facilities is a lack of adequate staff resources — not only to provide care, but also to protect residents.

“There is a well-defined gap in the availability of specialized facilities in Ontario — particularly for older adults who need to be in a nursing home environment but have profound mental health issues that require constant monitoring and intensive treatment plans,” she says.

“Those types of services are clearly beyond the scope and intent of a nursing home environment,” says Koster.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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Denise Koster provides consulting services and expert witness reports and testimony in elder abuse and nursing home negligence cases. She also provides management and labour groups with investigation services, practical education, intensive training and consultation on workplace violence, harassment and other HR issues pertaining to safe and comfortable workplaces. Additionally, as a Certified Threat Manager (CTM) and Certified Workplace Violence and Threat Specialist (WVTS), Denise provides workplaces with customized threat assessment and management plans.

Discover more about Toronto workplace violence consultant Denise Koster.


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