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Man with dementia left to die in front of TV

Clara Guibourg · 13 Nov 2011, 11:08

Published: 13 Nov 2011 11:08 GMT+01:00

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The storm surrounding private care company Carema continues to grow, as two Carema geriatric homes Norshöjden and Korsnäsgården in Falun, in central Sweden, have been accused of severe flaws, reported Dagens Nyheter (DN).

Despite promising the municipality that they had the required dietician and physiotherapist on board, the homes were revealed to have lied. When the dietician and physiotherapist that Carema claimed to have hired were contacted, both stated that they had no contract with Carema.

According to Anna Wikberg, manager of Norshöjden, this was due to the home switching dietician and physiotherapist recently.

"Now we've found a solution, but this sort of thing can happen when someone quits," she said to DN.

An intern working at Korsnäsgården this spring revealed the incident with the dying man left alone, despite severe pain and fear of death.

"This can't be allowed. A person shouldn't have to die alone, with the TV as last company. Extra staff has to be put in," said the intern to DN.

"The management is suggesting that the death occurred rapidly and unexpectedly, but that isn't true. He was pumped full of morphine, which is only done if the person is dying," said the intern.

Korsnäsgården responded to this criticism by accusing the intern of breaking confidentiality, and manager Helene Sundgren is unwilling to comment further on the matter.

Story continues below…

Over the past couple of weeks, several Carema-run homes have been revealed to have significant flaws, from unchanged diapers to poor working environment. The scandal has led to raised voices for tightened quality control of elderly homes.

Clara Guibourg (clarabara@hotmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

13:20 November 13, 2011 by matona1
every one will end there one day
14:53 November 13, 2011 by StockholmSam
This Carema scandal will play heavily against the Moderates and their privatization schemes.
17:39 November 13, 2011 by yourkidding
"Flaws"!? They call it FLAWS!?????

It is not flaws! It is abuse and negligence not flaws! They should be fined, closed and prosecuted. PERIOD!
17:39 November 13, 2011 by just a question
Neocons: destroying countries' standards of living, health infrastructure, schools, old people care, and privatising everything for the sake of some rich idiots putting the money in a tax haven
19:06 November 13, 2011 by Brianito
Both "your kidding" and myself already said what needs to be done in the comments section in above mentioned article ..."Secret Bonus schemes at nursing homes revealed" .... Investigate & prosecute!!
19:24 November 13, 2011 by old jack
This is not truly private care. This is still tax-funded care budgeted by the state (who sucks some of the world's highest taxes out of us). In a free system, you choose your caregiver, not the state. Who cares the most about you, you or the state? Does the "royal" family lacks proper medical care, toilet paper, cleaning supplies. The state makes sure they're shamefully well cared for.

Paying qualified workers well and holding them strictly accountable for their performance is the best way to motivate most people to do their best. Carrot and stick.
20:29 November 13, 2011 by StockholmSam
@Old Jack

Who, exactly, is going to hold the "qualified workers" accountable for their performance? The only performance they will he accountable for is their ability to cut costs. Carema may be funded by taxes but they are allowed to reinvest profits rather than return them to the state. Such reinvestment provides loopholes for profits to Carema's private owners. In this sense, it is very different from a public sector organization. Plus, I am a Carema patient but the state did not choose them for me. I am free to choose any caregiver in my area, so this is a free system. In fact, we have now chosen to leave Carema.
20:49 November 13, 2011 by Mark737408
So sad, but its sweden what do you expect.
20:58 November 13, 2011 by eddie123
why ain't Sweden's old or elderly dying at home in the comfort of their kids, grand kids and extended family? is it the case that these people crowding elderly people's homes do not have relatives - kids, grand kids, brothers and sisters? the issue here is one of having to change the culture in Sweden; that families take more interest in looking after their young and elderly people. we can't allow hired hands to do these things 100% of the time and hope that they get it right. it will never happen because the hired hand just does not give a damn. there isn't much of a connection and most hired hands hate the fact that they are employed in that position. i have met care givers who whine the whole time about how crappy their job is and how poor the pay is etc. such unmotivated staff can not be trusted to look after our old. it is a shame that the younger population in Sweden is failing to take care of the old and dying. just remember when we all were infants and kids, our parents took good care of us, at least, some of our parents tried their best, others didn't; now is the time to pay back. left you old parents live at home with you and your family - that way you can look after them and help with their needs. take example from Obama whose mother-in-law lives with his family at the White House. that's taking care of your family. that is looking out for one another. not this individualism crap on parade in Sweden.
21:26 November 13, 2011 by dizzymoe33
Once again another sad situation. I really hope something changes on how the elderly and disabled are taken care of in Sweden. People don't deserve to be mistreated because Society deems them not useful anymore it is wrong!!
22:36 November 13, 2011 by old jack

Why put qualified workers in quotation marks? Second, what do you mean who is going to hold people accountable? Chain of command. Individuals are accountable to supervisors who are accountable to their boss, etc. If you can't do your job, poof - out the door with you - in with a competent person. When people's asses are really on the line, they have a tendency to perform well. Here, even in industries outside of healthcare, people talk about do-nothing workers who can't be fired. No carrot. No stick.

Furthermore in cases of extreme negligence/abuse, legal action should be taken. Courts should hold people accountable, jail time, painful fines, settlements. And furthermore, consumers hold people accountable. If a business stinks, spend your money elsewhere. The business can adapt and flourish or collapse.

You say you are "free" to choose any caregiver in your area… still state care. Still restricted to the county you live in and the wealth of that county. This is the care your county chooses for you. It's like the state telling you you can eat McDonalds, Burger King, or Max. And you then saying that you're "free" bc the state allows you to choose which of those places to eat. That is NOT real freedom.

I've had medical care in several countries. Sweden has been horrible. Humans are cost units, and care is rationed. Far too often, the goal is to do as little as possible. Real private doctors, outside of Sweden, perform! They want my money, and I'm happy to give it to the individual who shows results. Here, I'm forced to give my money to the state, so some suit-monkey can dictate which cash-strapped clinic I can "choose."

The public/private care debate is forever ongoing. Individuals should be FREE to choose for themselves. Those who want the state to act as their liaison can pay the state. Those who are tired of state abuse, should be FREE to fire the state, and spend this tax-savings on people who produce positive results. The state has shown, time and time again, that it does not handle money responsibly.

All said, I'm not sure how ethically any large organization - public or private - can function. Humanity seems to decrease as human numbers increase. It is all very sad. I don't trust this system.
00:47 November 21, 2011 by Schwoebel
This guy sounds alot like 80% of the kids in Europe and America....left to die in front of a TV.
23:49 December 2, 2011 by cattie

your ageism is showing. Obama's mother-in-law is helping HIM and her daughter to provide a stable. loving home to their schoolage daughters while they meet the demands of their jobs while he in office.

Which is a smart family strategy, generally speaking, to have those who LOVE your child (or your parent) care for them as opposed to hired help. One can hire cleaners and drivers and even cooks, but you really cannot hire someone to CARE.
05:27 December 3, 2011 by FreudianSlip
Where was the man's family? Shouldn't family be there, or an old friend or neighbor?
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