Carema admits flaws in patient’s starvation death

Carema has come in for harsh criticism following suspicions that a 90-year-old woman died of starvation at one of the private care company's homes. Carema now admits that more could've been done for the elderly woman.

Carema admits flaws in patient's starvation death

When interviewed by Sveriges Radio (SR), the company’s regional manager Gertrud Öjetoft did point out that she was unable to comment on details of a particular case, but also said that Carema could’ve been more creative in their attempts to get the woman to eat.

The woman’s severe malnutrition was proven by the autopsy when she died in April, at one of Carema’s homes in Vänersborg’s municipality, in southwestern Sweden.

The 90-year-old had then lived in the company’s care for three years.

Öjetoft met with the woman’s relatives on Thursday, and in her opinion had a good talk. Most of it concerned the dialogue between relatives and the home’s staff.

“It’s important that we always have a good dialogue with the clients and their relatives,” said Öjetoft to SR.

Öjetoft couldn’t give any clear examples of what she meant by being more creative in attempts to give the woman food.

The dialogue was the main issue.

“We’ve followed the routines we have, and we’ve done most things right. But I still think we could’ve had a better dialogue,” said Öjetoft to SR.

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Moderate Party politician wants care-home ‘spies’

A local Moderate Party politician has called for the installation of undercover spies to patrol retirement homes to ensure that staff do their jobs, in the wake of a slew of recent scandals.

Moderate Party politician wants care-home 'spies'

“It is a question of vulnerable people who can’t speak for themselves. The reports of mistreatment that come to light are often difficult to prove,” Kalmar municipal councillor Magnus Isaksson told the the local Östran daily.

Isaksson suggested that the spies should be installed at facilities under the guise of employment as temporary staff. He argued that staff should be tasked with infiltrating operations and monitoring how the regular personnel do their jobs.

The Moderate Party politician has laid out his plan in a motion to the Kalmar municipal council, suggesting that a couple of weeks would be the right time-frame in order to compile an adequate clandestine report.

The call comes a few weeks after revelations of mistreatment at the Smedängen care home in Kalmar, although Isaksson underlined that his proposal is not specifically directed at the home.

“This occurs in other areas of society,” he said.

Isaksson compared his proposal to the “mystery shopper” programmes operated by retail chains where undercover customers seek to compile reports on how staff work and greet customers.

He accepted that his proposal could be considered controversial.

“But it would have an effect. Just the thought that there could be someone keeping a check would get people to pull themselves together,” he told the newspaper.

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