The company that owns Summerland Seniors Village has taken issue with news coverage related to Alfredo and Maria Luisa Bonaldi.
A letter dated Nov. 30 from Tony Baena, Vice-President of Operations for Retirement Concepts, addressed to residents and families of Summerland Seniors Village disputes some portions of news reports. The letter was circulated prior to Mr. Bonaldi’s death Dec. 7.
“We realize that many of you may have questions regarding the press coverage regarding Summer Seniors Village residents Mr. and Mrs. Bonaldi,” says the letter obtained last week by the Summerland Review.
“We are profoundly disappointed by the mistakes that were made that led to the delay in discovering that Mr. Bonaldi was unwell and are taking steps to improve our systems to avoid a reoccurrence of the situation again.
“However, we would like to clarify some of the circumstances as much of the press coverage has been inaccurate to date.
“The following are the facts:
“Summerland Seniors Village is a campus of care that offers residential care as well as independent living for residents who wish to maintain their independence.
“Mr. Bondaldi is an independent living resident. This means that he was mobile and was able to take care of his own needs. Apart from taking two meals a day with other residents in our dining room, he lived independently and received no care services from facility staff. Residents in the Independent Living side of our community have an emergency call bell in their suites that they activate when in distress. We have not determined yet why Mr. Bonaldi did not activate his emergency call bell, but we have determined that it was working. Nevertheless, his absence from the dining room on two consecutive days should have been investigated by our staff. We have policies and procedures in place to identify when residents are not present for meals and we are looking why they were not followed in this case. We will take appropriate action to ensure that they are followed in future.
“We are also urgently investigating reports that Mr. Bonaldi is suffering from salmonella poisoning. We keep samples of the food we serve for two weeks and will have them tested. As far as we know, no other residents are suffering from any salmonella-like symptoms.
“What happened to Mr. Bonaldi is totally unacceptable to us. It does not reflect the high standard of care that our staff provide to residents at Summerland Seniors Village and we want to do all we can to try to make sure that this never happens again.
“There has been a follow-up news item on Mrs. Bonaldi. Our initial investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mrs. Bonaldi’s injury have shown that she slipped out of a bath chair and was assisted to the ground by staff. She was not dropped as was previously reported. She was examined by two nurses after this incident and had good range of motion with no complaints of pain. One day after this incident Mrs. Bonaldi did complain of leg pain for the first time. Staff informed the family doctor who examined Mrs. Bonaldi at the facility. After the examination, a member of our staff asked the doctor if Mrs. Bonaldi needed an x-ray. The doctor said he did not think it was necessary and prescribed medication for the pain.
When Mrs. Bonaldi’s pain continued over the next two days, staff again informed the doctor who prescribed stronger medication. When that did not help, staff again informed the doctor and he ordered an x-ray that revealed a fracture.
“Our staff was aware of Mrs. Bonaldi’s leg pain in the days following her fall and took the necessary steps to have her examined by a doctor. They then followed the doctor’s recommended course of action to treat her pain and followed up when Mrs. Bonaldi’s pain continued.
“Interior Health did conduct a review of the incident and the actions of the facility staff and determined that the staff acted appropriately in dealing with the outcome of the fall. “However, it was recommended that in future cases of this nature the lap belt on the bath chair should be left on when drying the patient for safety reasons. We have provided the staff with additional education and training on this protocol to the satisfaction of Interior Health Licensing,” the letter concludes.